On 20th October 2020, Secretary to Cabinet Dr. Simon Miti issued a circular instructing civil servants who intend to compete in 2021 General elections to resign before 30th November 2020.
And now the Patriotic Front Secretary General has warned civil servants who have not adhered to the directive that they risk not being adopted if they resigned after that deadline.
“The Patriotic Front will not entertain any civil servant or public officer who will not comply with government directives,” said Davies Mwila.
These pronouncements from both the Secretary to Cabinet which are now being implemented by the Party’s Secretary General without questioning them are not only strange or unlawful but has a potential to turn civil servants against President Lungu and his party ahead of the 2021 elections.
Firstly, both Mister Miti and Mwila know that the resignation of civil servants from public service are governed by conditions of service and not decrees. In most cases, civil servants are required to give a sufficient notice ranging from 30 days to 90 days, according to one’s conditions.
Secondly, the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia is also very clear that civil servants are only required to resign before seeking election to a State Office. In particular, Article 186 reads:
“(1) A public officer who seeks election, or is appointed, to a State office shall resign.
(2) Clause (1) applies to a Constitutional office holder”
There is nowhere in the Constitution or the law which require civil servants to resign almost one year before an election. This is why we say the decree by Mr. Miti which is now being implemented by the Party Secretary General is unlawful and has no basis at all.
The only explanation to the insistence by the top civil servant and the party chief executive officer in implementing such a directive are internal politics and nothing else.
The 2021 General election is not the first election where those who occupied civil servants’ positions will be participating. It will also not be the last. The PF itself came into power because of the support it enjoyed from civil servants and ordinary Zambians. At no point was integrity and credibility of the public service become into question even as you won the 2011 elections.
We want to strongly advise President Lungu that the effect of implementing this decree on civil servants is that it will alienate you from civil servants and their families. This would not be good as you seek your re-election bid. But the decision is yours to make. Know your competitors will be looking forward to gain the approval of the same civil servants your Secretary General said your party will not entertain.
In short, the PF will not entertain any civil servant or public officer who will not comply with government directives as per your Secretary General but as a general rule, you also pushing these civil servants not to entertain the Patriotic Front for issuing undemocratic and unlawful directives