KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
President Lungu does not need United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema’s permission to appoint any opposition member of Parliament (MP) into his Government, special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda has said.
Mr Chanda said the Constitution of Zambia has no provision to compel a sitting President to consult any opposition leader, including Mr Hichilema, before appointing opposition MPs to government positions.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Sinazongwe MP Richwell Siamunene will today be sworn in as Minister of Defence.
Mr Chanda was reacting to Mr Hichilema’s sentiments in which he has questioned President Lungu’s appointment of Mr Siamunene as minister of Defence.
He said the action by President Lungu is not subject to Mr Hichilema’s demands for permission because it is constitutional.
“The action by President Lungu is an act of national-building and inclusiveness with people in the Cabinet from all parts of the country,” Mr Chanda said.
He said this is the most representative Cabinet since independence with members from all provinces.
President Lungu appointed Mr Siamunene as Minister of Defence on Tuesday.
Mr Siamunene becomes the third opposition MP in Cabinet.