PRESIDENT Lungu has dismissed as absurd and disrespectful assertions that he is a stooge.
And the President has defended his plans to split three ministries, saying the decision is aimed at improving efficiency in service delivery.
President Lungu refuted claims by the United Party for National Development (UPND) that former President Rupiah Banda is controlling him in running the affairs of the nation.
Mr Lungu said it is absurd and disrespectful for the opposition to allege that the former head of State is controlling him in running the government when in fact he has been making some of the best decisions since he assumed the office.
The President said this yesterday on return from Mfuwe where he had gone for a seven-day retreat to constitute his full Cabinet and to make some structural changes to Government.
“I am not a puppet or stooge for me to be controlled and no one has been playing with my mind since I became President of this country,” President Lungu said.
The President, however, said he is free to consult any Zambian, including former presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda.
President Lungu said he is free to consult Mr Banda and Dr Kaunda though not every advice will be taken.
He said he promised during campaigns to consult former heads of State but the final decision is his, contrary to critics who are accusing him of being controlled by Mr Banda.
He said his focus is to work for Zambians and bring efficiency in service delivery, adding that his critics should “watch this space” as he transforms the country.
And commenting on his intention to split three ministries, President Lungu said he has only made a proposal to Cabinet on the need to separate the ministries such as Mines, Energy and Water Development; Transport, Works, Supply and Communications as well as Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education into two wings to help create effectiveness in the public service.
“I am not creating jobs for the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres by splitting the three ministries as being alleged by the opposition.
“These ministries are just too overloaded and it is just imperative for us to split them so that we can enhance efficiency in service delivery,” he said.
He also refuted assertions that the PF and MMD are planning to merge ahead of the 2016 general elections.
President Lungu said the PF and MMD have not discussed anything pertaining to merging but that the two parties are merely in talks on how best they can work together.
And President Lungu has directed the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) management to reinstate the One Zambia One Nation slogan on national television before main news broadcasts to unite the country, reports DARLINGTON MWENDABAI in Mfuwe.
President Lungu said Zambia is a unitary State that should not be divided by tribe, colour or politics.
He said this when he briefly addressed Government officials and PF supporters at Mfuwe International Airport before departure for Lusaka yesterday.
“Tribe and colour should not be a factor. Politics should not divide us just like religion has not divided us. I will talk to the director-general to reinstate the slogan of One Zambia, One Nation which should be played before the main news. This is an official directive,” he said.
On domestic tourism, he said there was need for local people to participate in the sector but warned against poaching.
The President reiterated Government’s commitment to delivering a new constitution as per the road map released earlier.
On concerns over the slow pace of trickle down benefits from fuel price reduction, Mr Lungu said Zambians will in the long run start seeing the benefits despite resistance in some sectors to pass these benefits to consumers.