THOSE wishing for the re-introduction of deputy ministers in Government must wait for 2018 as there is no provision for such in the 2017 national budget, Finance Minister Felix Mutati has said.
Mr Mutati has ruled out the possibility of re-introducing the position of deputy Minister next year because the position has not been budgeted for.
Mr Mutati was responding to questions during an interactive discussions on the post-budget meeting organised by Deloitte Zambia, in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Mutati emphasised that those who want the re-introduction of deputy ministers should wait for the presentation of the 2018 national budget.
“There is no provision for deputy ministers in the 2017 national budget, and if we are going to be disciplined, let us not bring into the budget things that we did not plan for,” he said.
He said there will no re-introduction of deputy ministers regardless of persuasion from anyone.
“So continue with the debate, if you are going to change as a nation, do it in 2018. 2017 we say no, regardless of the persuasion and the attractiveness of deputy ministers and the political boom, boom, boom. For 2017, a clear answer is no so continue with the arguments,” he said.
Recently, Patriotic Front (PF) Mwansabombwe Member of Parliament Rodgers Mwewa said a private motion that he moved on to amend the Constitution did not include the re-introduction of deputy ministers.
Mr Mwewa challenged those who are saying PF wants to bring back Deputy Ministers to take time and listen to the motion.
And PF Parliamentary Chief Whip Richard Musukwa said that the re-introduction of the position of deputy minister in Government was not on the party’s agenda.
Mr Musukwa said the motion to re-introduce the position of deputy minister came from the floor of the house and it was moved by an Independent Member of Parliament. Mr Musukwa said Government wanted to run a lean structure of Ministers and it would not go against the wishes of the people.