The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service, Mr Patrick K. Kangwa is confident that the Public Service can change Zambia for the better. Mr Kangwa said this during a press briefing on Friday, 7th June, 2024 held to explain measures to improve Public Service Delivery.  The press briefing was held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, in Lusaka.

The Secretary to the Cabinet, in his role as Head of the Public Service, focused on the role of the Public Service in responding to the directives from Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia issued at a Press Conference on Wednesday, 5th June, 2024 at State House.

During the Press Conference, the President highlighted National Unity, Rule of Law, the Fight against Corruption, the Drought response and Rebuilding the Economy as key ingredients to the development agenda of the country.

On National Unity, the Secretary to the Cabinet noted that the Public Service plays a crucial role in its promotion adding that the composition of the Public Service should always mirror Zambia’s national character. In this regard, the Secretary to the Cabinet stated that recruitment into the Public Service should be based on competence. He further indicated that Public Service workers should be willing to be deployed to any part of the country where their services were required.

As regards the Rule of Law, the Secretary to the Cabinet stated that for Zambia to attain its’ developmental aspirations, there was need to uphold the Rule of Law. He observed with regret that some instances of lawlessness in the country were a result of failure by some Public Service workers to enforce existing laws and policies.

He pointed out that there were some Public Service workers who abrogate the law with impunity for personal gain. The Secretary to Cabinet cautioned against the misuse of Government vehicles and referred toCircular No 8 of 2018 which among other directives, gives guidance on who was allowed to drive Government vehicles. Public Service workers were additionally, directed to be law abiding citizens and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to curb lawlessness in the country. All individuals and institutions were accordingly instructed to be accountable for their actions by reporting wrong doing to relevant authorities.

In deliberating on the fight against corruption, the Secretary to the Cabinet made it clear that the current administration, since coming into office, had been unequivocal on its stance on corruption. In this regard, no single citizen or institution in the country could claim ignorance on the matter.

Mr Kangwa urged the Public Service to ensure that in line with the country’s National Values and Principles and the Code of Ethics for the Public Service and Local Government Service, their work was devoid of corrupt practices.

In addition, Permanent Secretaries and Directors were guided to work closely with the Anti-Corruption Commission in implementing the Whistle Blower Policy to ensure that Whistle Blowers are not victimized in accordance with the Policy and the Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012.

On the issue of discipline, the Secretary to the Cabinet cited the Revised Human Resource Policies for the Public Service which include the Disciplinary Code and Procedures for Handling Offences in the Public Service, which he said have an overarching objective to ensure that the Public Service has a professional, ethical, disciplined and committed workforce. The Code includes tribalism and hate speech, playing games on electronic gadgets during working hours, engaging in active politics, reporting late for work and idling on duty, as some of the punishable offences.

The Secretary to the Cabinet also addressed the drought experienced in the last farming season which adversely affected the agriculture and energy sectors, among others. He said the Public Service had an obligation to help the country navigate the impact of the drought. In this vein, Mr. Kangwa directed all Public Service institutions to strictly adhere to the realigned 2024 National Budget and Cabinet Office Circular Minute No. 10 of 2024 and other circulars issued to provide guidance on the utilization of public resources.

All Government Ministries and institutions were directed to adhere to the Presidential directive that all Government buildings and offices have solar power systems sufficient to support operations even in the absence of hydro power. Public Service workers were further advised not to connive with service providers in the water sector to exploit Government.  He guided that correct standards and fees related to borehole drilling should be published and disseminated to the public.

Pertaining to rebuilding the economy, the Secretary to the Cabinet said this entailed prudence in the use of available resources in all sectors of the economy and creating a conducive environment for economic growth and development. He guided Ministries and other Government institutions through the Ministerial Delivery Units to focus on their respective five (5) priority areas to ensure service delivery.

On Civil Service travel, the Secretary to the Cabinet directed that any necessary travels in the Public Service would be procured through the Civil Service Travel Agency. He referred to the various circulars that have been issued to provide guidance to Government Ministries and institutions on the procedures and processes in the procurement of Air tickets in the public service.

Public Service workers were also reminded about the importance of communication particularly with the public with accurate and timely information on Government programmes, challenges and achievements. To this effect, public service institutions were guided to have active and up to date websites and social media platforms.


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