By Sharon Kunda
President Edgar Lungu has called on investigative wings in the country to take their jobs seriously by ensuring investigations into corruption allegations against public officers are expedited and concluded.
President Lungu says he has been slow to act on corruption allegations brought to him by investigative wings as Government has in the past lost a lot of credible public officers in the civil service and ministerial positions on account of baseless corruption
The Head of State says he has allowed investigative wings to establish the truth about allegations of misconduct and corruption of public officers.
President Lungu says those charged with the responsibility of investigating are not doing so for the cases to be taken to court.
He has since challenged investigative wings to bring forth challenges they face in investigating matters of corruption.
He has stated that Government is not corrupt and that those who accuse Government of being corrupt have failed to bring forth evidence.
President Lungu said during a swearing in ceremony for seven permanent secretaries at State House on Tuesday.
The seven who have been appointed are Lenox Kalonde, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Supply, Patrick Lungu, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Arts and Captain Davison Mulenga, Permanent Secretary Muchinga Province.
The others are Royd Chakaba, Permanent Secretary Northern Province, Dr. John Phiri, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Emmanuel Ngulube, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Matthew Ngulube, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government.
President Lungu has advised the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries to desist from antagonising ministers.
President Lungu said the growing tendency of Permanent Secretaries antagonising Ministers is creating a toxic working environment, thereby affecting performance and service delivery of public services.
He said some of the Permanent Secretaries who have been replaced have fallen short in terms of conduct and that serious allegations have been made against them, while others have been allowed to leave the public service so that they can pursue their political ambitions.
President Lungu has urged the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries to focus on their jobs and not allow themselves to be distracted by those that will accuse them of corruption.
The President said he will protect any public officer who performs his or her duties according to expectation.
He has asked the Permanent Secretaries to help him in the fight against corruption as it is not his responsibility alone.
President Lungu has also advised the Permanent Secretaries not to be used as political tools.
He has told the newly appointed officers that he expects hard work, professionalism, and discipline as they take up their new positions.