Mwanawasa names predecessor's ex-wife as deputy minister

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- President Levy Mwanawasa Monday appointed seven women, including his predecessor's ex-wife into his new cabinet.
Former First Lady, Vera Chiluba Tembo, ex-wife of former President Frederick Chiluba was named deputy minister for the environment department in the Tourism Ministry.
Vera, as she is popularly known among ordinary Zambians, won a rural parliamentary seat in the Eastern Province in the last polls.
Sylvia Masebo, former Health Minister moves to the Local Government and Housing Ministry, while Angela Cifire, former Public Relations Manager for the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation becomes the new Health Minister.
Gladys Nyirongo goes back to the Ministry of Lands, while Catherine Namugala, a former deputy minister is now the substantive minister for Community Development.
Another woman, Grace Saifwanda is the new minister in charge of Gender and Women in Development affairs, while Patricia Mulasikwanda takes over the Sports, Youth and Child Development portfolio.
Among major cabinet changes announced by Mwanawasa, is the departure of former Vice-President Lupando Mwape, who has been replaced by veteran politician Rupiah Banda.
Mwape, who lost the parliamentary election in his Lukashya constituency, is now to serve as Zambian diplomat in a country yet to be named.
Among the old faces in the new cabinet are Ng'andu Magande, who retains the finance and national planning portfolio.
Vernon Mwaanga goes back to information and broadcasting services, Ronnie Shikapwasha moves to the Home Affairs Ministry from Foreign Affairs, while George Mpombo, who was demoted over last year's national fuel crisis, returns to the cabinet as Defence Minister.
Former education minister, Brian Chituwo, moves to the science and technology ministry while Kabinga Pande goes back to the Tourism Ministry.
Former agriculture minister, Mundia Sikatana, becomes the new Foreign affairs Minister and George Kunda returns as Justice minister, while former deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Zambia, Geoffrey Lungwangwa, becomes the new Education Minister.
But while announcing the cabinet changes at a press conference, President Mwanawasa also warned the opposition Patriotic Front defeated presidential candidate, Michael Sata, that he would not tolerate "any acts of disobedience" by any of the party's councillors.
He said if councils dominated by the opposition chose to antagonise the central government they would be disciplined.
The President told Sata not to dare the government which has awesome authority and power at its disposal to "sort him out.
" Sata announced last week that his party would initiate programmes parallel to those of the central government in areas where it controlled the local councils.
But Mwanawasa insisted the central government remained in charge of the country and the local councils, warning that rebellious councils would be dissolved.
Mwanawasa, who was re-elected for a second and final five-year term of office 28 September, described his new government as "friendly" and would to take development and service to all Zambians.
He said the government was open to suggestions on how to improve the economy and facilitate service delivery.

09 october 2006 15:07:00




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