By ANDREW MUKOMA
Civil servants who are resisting change and frustrating the UPND administration by being bureaucratically unhinged shall not be allowed to remain in the civil service as they will be replaced, President Hakainde Hichilema has warned.
President Hichilema says there are people who are in the civil and public service who do not want to accept that there is a change of government and work with his new dawn administration, thereby frustrating the implementation of its programmes.
Mr Hichilema has said that such people shall be replaced by those willing to work for Zambians.
On Tuesday, Civil Service Commission Chairperson Peter Mumba admitted that an unknown number of civil servants that includes directors from various ministries have been consigned to what is called holding positions after they were asked to vacate their offices without reasons.
This was after National Democratic Congress (NDC) president Saboi Imboela revealed that the UPND government had removed more than 300 civil servants including 76 directors from their positions and have been consigned to Cabinet Office’s holding position awaiting their inevitable fate of either being separated or retired in national interest as the case may be.
The more than 300 civil servants are said to have already been replaced by people perceived to be sympathisers or members of the UPND, some of whom are believed to be ill qualified serve for being supports of the governing party or hailing from preferred selected regions.
And now, President Hichilema has announced his government shall dispense with civil servants perceived to be resisting change that public service workers should know that they are employed to work for the people.
Mr Hichilema said that the UPND was voted into power on the premise of uniting the nation because according to him, the past 10 years under the PF was regionally polarised.
He said that citizens should rally behind the UPND as it was an organisation that had brought Zambians together and that unity and harmony had returned to a country that he says was regionally and ethnically divided in the last decade.
President Hichilema also disclosed that the second year of his tenure of office would be spent on looking after the grassroots from where there has been a lot of apprehension on the belief that the UPND had abandoned the youth.
“Those in the public service, please remember that we are servants of the people. The first one year was to bring credibility and develop a strong relationship with our neighbouring countries.
“In the second year in office, I will spend 60 to 70 percent of my time to look after the grassroots. Cabinet will this year look at supporting the women, the youth, small-scale businesses and other groupings. We want small businesses to grow and get contracts…I am watching what is happening,” President Hichilema said.
The President added that his administration was determined to change the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) guidelines to ensure projects are not delayed.
He said the government was relaxing the CDF laws and that a committee had already been set in place to unlock the rigidities surrounding the fund.
And Mr Hichilema has urged party members in Southern Province to embrace new members who were joining the ruling party because the party had to continue growing even if it was in government
He said that new members were important in growing the party ahead of the 2026 general elections.