Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa and his deputy Abida Sidik Mia told members of staff in the Ministry that they need to start afresh with the aim of changing the public perception that the Ministry is one of the most corrupt government ministries in the country.
The Minister and deputy said this at Capital Hotel-Marquee1 yesterday when they organized a Management meeting which drew staff members from the five departments in the Ministry namely Lands, Physical Planning, Surveys, Housing and Urban Development Department.
During the meeting, it was disclosed by the Chief Human Resource Officer, Joseph Dzongololo that the Ministry is currently running at 35% staffing level meaning that there are a lot of positions the Ministry has to fill if it is to discharge its duties effectively to the public.
“Some problems at the Ministry occur due to shortage of staff because the current 35% staff level is almost like we are closing shop,” he said.
On his part, the new Principal Secretary, Benard Sande, whom President Chakwera has retired from his retirement in the public service, said his mission is to clean up the Ministry, to ensure efficiency and in the process improve the battered image of the Ministry.
The PS, whom the members of staff expressed their discontent in his management style, lamenting in an anonymous letter, that the 100 days of the Tonse Administration has been like 1000 days due to his stifling of operations at the Ministry, defended himself arguing he is following the law in his operations. He claimed that if members of staff were aware of the applicable laws guiding a controlling officer such as the Public Finance Management Act, they would not think he has come to strangle operations at the Ministry but to bring order.
Recently, President Chakwera defended his decision to pick old timers in crucial positions in government thereby pushing the youth who agitated for change in the sidelines saying the veterans have been hired to bring order and discipline in government Ministries.
The management meeting therefore concluded with the Minister Kezzie Msukwa appealing to members of staff to start afresh, leave politics to politicians and do their job ethically and professionally.