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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

New Cabinet

The new Lungu administration is beginning to take shape. The list of appointments in Cabinet are set out below :

(1) Hon. Davis Chama, (MP): MINISTER OF DEFENCE (Nominated);
(2) Hon. Felix Mutati, (MP): MINISTER OF FINANCE (Nominated);
(3) Hon. Steven Kampyongo(MP): MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS;
(4) Hon. Harry Kalaba (MP): MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS;
(5) Hon. Lucky Mulusa (MP): MINISTER OF NATIONAL PLANNING (Nominated);
(6) Hon. Chitalu Chilufya (MP): MINISTER OF HEALTH;
(7) Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe (MP): MINISTER OF COMMERCE, TRADE AND INDUSTRY
(8) Hon. Joyce Nonde-Simukoko(MP): MINISTER OF LABOUR & SOCIAL SECURITY (Nominated).

President Lungu has also appointed the following Provincial Ministers :

(1) Hon. Sydney Mushanga, (MP) – CENTRAL PROVINCE;
(2) Hon. Bowman Lusambo, (MP)-COPPERBELT PROVINCE;
(3) Hon. Nixon Chilangwa, (MP) - LUAPULA PROVINCE;
(4) Hon. Malozo Sichone, (MP) - MUCHINGA PROVINCE;
(5) Hon. Brian Mundubile, (MP) - NORTHERN PROVINCE;
(6) Hon. Makebi Zulu, (MP) - EASTERN PROVINCE;
(7) Hon.Japhen Mwakalombe (MP)- LUSAKA PROVINCE;
(8) Hon. Richard Kapita (MP) - NORTH-WESTERN PROVINCE (Nominated);
(9) Hon. Edify Hamukale (MP) - SOUTHERN PROVINCE (Nominated) and
(10) Hon. Nathaniel Mubukwanu (MP) - WESTERN PROVINCE (Nominated).

(Source : State House)

The appointment of Felix Mutati is an interesting departure from the incompetent period of Alexander Chikwanda. We can also expect Mutati to communicate much better than Chikwanda who often called people who disagreed with him "idiots" and "fools".

However, Mutati as an outsider is unlikely to have the gravitas of Chikwanda, and therefore may struggle to command the respect of other ministers sufficient enough to impose fiscal discipline. This will depend on how much State House seeks to run fiscal policy.

Mutati's appointment may also represent a departure from the stronger role of the state in national development. Based on what Mutati has been saying recently we can assume that austerity and greater reliance on markets is inevitable.

In general, it seems that this will be a very bloated administration, given there are other portfolios yet to be announced. For example, Lucky Mulusa's ministry is a new one. Do we really need that? It would have been good if President Lungu had taken this opportunity to think radically about how to run a lean and efficient government.

Also as we have previously said what the government really needs is a Policy Tsar. To coordinate policy across government so that the economics and politics sync across better. This should have been Lungu's first appointment before turning to the Cabinet.

Sort out State House first - get good advisers and policy wonks, then put the government together. That's how it's supposed to be done. It suggests that the president has not yet figured out how to run an effective government. But it's early days. We will wait and see.

We will keep the list updated!

QUESTION

What are your thoughts on the appointments so far?

Copyright © Zambian Economist 2016

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