Nchito, Malila and Mwenye are a deadly and formidable team to fight corruption...

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito, Attorney General Mumba Malila and Solicitor General Musa Mwenye are a "deadly and formidable team" to fight corruption and dispense justice.

And President Sata urged new Governor of the Bank of Zambia Dr Michael Gondwe, to work at strengthening the Kwacha.

Speaking at State House in Lusaka yesterday when he swore in former Law Association of Zambia president Mwenye as new Solicitor General, President Sata said there was a lot of money buried by former leaders in the previous regime.

"Mr Mwenye, congratulations. You are one of very few people who would abandon a position of president of the Law Association of Zambia, to come and join the public service. I would like you to hunt for your friend, Mutembo Nchito so that he can take oath and you start functioning. This is the first time we have a deadly and formidable team, Attorney General (Malila), Solicitor General (Mwenye) and DPP (Mutembo)," President Sata said.

"So, please look for Mutembo Nchito. We have to come to work because if they are burying money underground and there is plenty of money and vehicles…the plunder in the last three years was worse, it deprived a lot of people of what they are supposed to do. So I want you to move and assist Zambians."

He urged the trio to ensure that they revamp the legal aid system.

President Sata, who spent over one month in jail on a non-bailable charge of theft of motor vehicle that was later dropped during the late Levy Mwanawasa's administration, said many prisoners had no legal representation.

"I was in prison for 40 days and the majority of people in prison are poor people. Poor people have no representation. Let us revamp the legal aid system and let us also create a new office of district attorney so that people can be properly prosecuted," President Sata said.

"The Legal Aid, look at the conditions of service and come to us. The 40 days I stayed in prison, poor people don't even know what legal representation is. I stayed 40 days because I had a very effective legal representation; I even managed to get bail on a matter which they said there is no bail. My lawyers went around and got a constitutional bail."

President Sata also swore Dr Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota to be Zambia's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, former UPND vice-president Francis Simenda (ambassador to Ethiopia and African Union, Wendy Sinkala (High Commissioner to Namibia), Lt Col Bizwayo Nkunika (who has been transferred from South Africa to the United Kingdom in the same capacity as High Commissioner), Muyeba Shichapwa Chikonde (High Commissioner to South Africa), Mwelwa Chibesakunda (ambassador to Japan), former deputy secretary to the Cabinet Robert Mataka (High Commissioner to Botswana) and Frederick Hapunda (ambassador to Russia).

President Sata urged the eight diplomats to market Zambia and bring business to the country.

"It has taken so long for us to get agreements with the countries where you are going to because some of your relatives whom we appointed in foreign service like Nevers Mumba recently-recalled High Commissioner to Canada, they left stinking names at those missions and you find that those countries are taking so long to try and clear you, making the Ministry of Foreign Affairs look like they are not efficient," President Sata said.

"Go there and see how many Zambians are in that place you will be operating from. Go and build the name of Zambia. Go and bring business to Zambia, don't go and bring business in your pockets."

In apparent reference to Mumba, President Sata wondered how a former envoy could be living in an expensive and luxurious hotel on return.

"Can you imagine a former high commissioner staying in Intercontinental Hotel from his own pocket?" President Sata said.

"Some of you have been there before. We need to work extremely hard; we need to bring back the glory which we have lost. Zambia provided leadership in the past but we are not doing it anymore because of selfishness."

President Sata said he was not looking at one's tribes when appointing people to decision-making positions like diplomats but an individual's contribution to the nation.

President Sata told Dr Gondwe, after he was sworn in, to work with finance minister Alexander Chikwanda and others to ensure that Zambians benefit from all exports.

"Why should we export our goods and not knowing how much they are worth? People get our emeralds in pockets and go and fetch millions of millions of dollars in India. Work with the minister of finance and bring back the statutory instrument that any cent which is exported from Zambia, the Zambian people must benefit from what is coming from their own soil," President Sata said.

"God was not silly by giving us all the precious stones. If God was silly He could have given the Japanese precious stones but He gave to us. So, we must benefit. We know you are a very hard working person. Let us work as a team and bring back the economy. At the moment, aren't we ashamed as Zambians that our currency is (one of) the weakest in the world? Go there and strengthen it."

At the same ceremony, President Sata swore in permanent secretaries Charles Kapembwa Sipanje (Muchinga Province) and Hlobotha Nkunika (Eastern Province).

"You are not going as kings but as servants of the people. Go and serve the people and you must be loyal to your ministers. I have seen in certain provinces where permanent secretaries are more superior than the ministers," President Sata said.

The President announced that he had two more districts - Vubwi, previously part of Chadiza District in Eastern Province and Lunga, previously part of Samfya district in Luapula Province.

He said the creation of the new districts was meant to ease the administration of the regions.

This brings the number of districts to about 75.

"When people have no representation, they even come with all sorts of things like self-determination or autonomy and when you ask them, 'how are you going to manage your autonomy?' they start laughing," said President Sata.

And Kasese-Bota, a medical doctor and gender activist, commended President Sata for appointing more women into key decision-making positions.

"I feel very excited that I am a second woman after Gwendoline Konie to be Zambia's permanent representative to the UN," said Dr Kasese-Bota. "I am happy that the President is very gender sensitive. This is a plus in terms of gender equity."

Foreign affairs minister Chishimba Kambwili said the appointment of people from various backgrounds and tribes into diplomatic posts had vindicated the PF and President Sata that it would not appoint cadres into such positions.

"We told you that we are going to appoint people who have requisite qualifications into the diplomatic service. I want to challenge all of you in the media to point at any of those people appointed as ambassador or high commissioner, who is a political cadre," Kambwili said.

"Some people have accused us that we are only appointing cadres and people of Bemba inclination but you can see from the balancing of the high commissioners and ambassadors that we mean well and we shall continue to do that and we want to create a career diplomacy that will bring economic development to Zambia and not to appoint cadres without qualifications."