PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has travelled to Mfuwe in Eastern Province for a retreat where he will also complete selecting members of his Cabinet.
President Lungu said at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday that he was going for a seven-day retreat at which he would complete selecting his Cabinet and make structural changes to Government.
“There is a difference between a holiday and retreat. Some people are already saying that I am going for a holiday and yet I am going for a working retreat. It is business as usual,” the President said.
Mr Lungu, who travelled with his wife Esther, Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula, Patriotic Front (PF) general secretary Davies Chama, some State House staff, as well as members of the PF central committee, said the officials travelling with him would help him make the selections.
President Lungu said he had his priorities in place and his priority was Zambia and Zambians, the reason he was travelling for the working retreat.
Mr Lungu said while there, he was also going to work out how the Government could raise Zambia’s international profile because for some years now, it had gone down.
“You agree with me that the country’s profile has gone down and this is not good because it does not help attract investment,” Mr Lungu said.
He said while he had a Foreign Affairs Minister and Zambian missions abroad, he could not always delegate when there was need for bilateral trade discussions.
President Lungu said he needed to cement bilateral relations and discuss projects being carried out with other countries.
Mr Lungu said he would be travelling to Zimbabwe tomorrow from Mfuwe to meet the African Union chairperson Robert Mugabe as part of trade talks.
He said he would also travel to Angola to discuss the way forward on the Angola-Zambia railway line and the road which was being built from Angola to Zambia.
Mr Lungu left the airport at 12:00 hours and he was seen off by Vice-President Inonge Wina, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila, State House Deputy Minister Mulenga Sata, defence chiefs, Government officials and PF members.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has appointed former Lupososhi member of Parliament Emmanuel Mpankata as PF chairperson for elections.
Mr Mpankata has replaced Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo.
According to a statement released by party secretary Mr Chama, Mr Lungu is confident that the new chairperson will execute his duties with high levels of professionalism.
“I wish to inform members of the ruling party, and the public at large, that President Lungu has appointed Mr Emmanuel Mpankata as PF chairman for elections,” Mr Chama said.
He said that Mr Mpankata’s appointment was effective from January 27.