Dora to tackle energy crisis

NEWLY-appointed Energy and Water Development Minister Dora Siliya has said she is aware of the power deficit the country is facing and has pledged to apply her best to finding solutions to the energy sector.

Ms Siliya said she was humbled with the confidence President Lungu had placed in her and declared that she was going to use the prayer and fasting weekend to seek the guidance of God as she takes up her new appointment.

Ms Siliya said she would be joining Zambians in prayer, fasting and reconciliation as the country would be seeking the face of God for its current social and economic challenges.

President Edgar Lungu yesterday appointed Ms Siliya as the Minister of Energy and Water Development and directed that the energy crisis the country is currently facing should effectively be dealt with.

President Lungu said he was careful in choosing his ministers and that he had appointed Ms Siliya because of her determination, hard work and her desire to deliver in her undertakings.

President Lungu said his political opponents were blaming him for the power deficit in the country and had deliberately ignored that the power shortages was a regional and global problem.

Speaking when he swore in Ms Siliya as Energy and Water Development Minister and Livingstone MP Lawrence Evans as deputy minister for Fisheries and Livestock at State House yesterday, President Lungu he was determined to walk the talk and hoped his ministers were going to come along with him.

He said he knew that the power deficit was not only regional but global but had confidence that Ms Siliya had the ability to effectively preside over the ministry and make sure the country had enough energy before thinking of exporting.

The Head of State said he did not want to sound rhetorical in his administration and that he was committed to every word he was pronouncing to Zambians.

“When I spoke on the 18th of September during the opening of the 5th Session of the 11th National Assembly, some people called my speech rhetoric. But whatever we say lies in our commitment to the people. I have always wanted to walk the talk and I am very careful on how I chose my Ministers and I chose you Ms Siliya because I believe you will implement Government policies.

“We have been beset with power deficit and I know it is regional. I want to ask you to come along with me and you are a strong and committed lady. Zambia should have enough energy before exporting,” President Lungu said.

And President Lungu told Mr Evans to work hard and ensure that Zambia has enough fish.

President Lungu said he did not expect his ministers to bring shame on him by failing to perform their functions and announced that deputy ministers would be allowed to sit in Cabinet so that they could effectively defend Government policies in Parliament.

“I had announced my desire that deputy ministers should be given space to sit in Cabinet.

“This would make things easier for deputy minister to answer questions in Parliament. They have not been sitting in Parliament but have been defending Government policies in Cabinet,” President Lungu said.     And Mr Evans said Zambia had the potential to grow its fish industry to the level of exporting it but stated this would only be possible if there investment in the sector.