By Joseph Mwenda
In this audio, Public Service Management Division (PSMD) Permanent Secretary Boniface Chimbwali is heard blasting Northern Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga for suspending his deputy without permission from him.
In the recorded phone conversation, Chimbwali reveals that he is under pressure from Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe, President Edgar Lungu’s political advisor Kaizer Zulu and renowned PF cadre Munir Zulu.
Chimbwali goes further to instruct PS Kamanga to call Sikazwe, Kaizer and Munir to exculpate himself to them for the decision he took to suspend an erring government officer.
Take a listen:
Chimbwali: I have on the other phone a query that you have suspended your deputy permanent secretary.
Kamanga: Hello Sir?
Chimbwali: Have you suspended your deputy permanent secretary?
Kamanga: Yes sir, I was calling you actually in the office in the morning but you were not available.
Chimbwali: No, I was not available but is it true that you have suspended your deputy secretary permanent secretary?
Kamanga: Yes sir, we have charged him and we have referred the matter to the disciplinary committee.
Chimbwali: But when you suspended him, according to the information you are saying that you were guided by PSMD to charge and suspend him. Whom did you speak to at PSMD?
Kamanga: Who says I was guided?
Chimbwali: I am speaking with… you call Kaizer Zulu now and explain how and who guided you to suspend your DPS.
Kamanga: Well, I think I was guided by my human resource department and development team. We had a meeting and discussed the matter…
Chimbwali: But did you specifically seek my personal guidance to suspend him? Because they are saying “it is you Chimbwali who guided Kamanga”. I have not spoken to you today…
Kamanga: That is not true, who is saying that sir? That is not true, I think people are… you see the problem is that people like to interfere. You can ask even my minister, at no time did I ever mention you. I said the matters that I have charged him with, I have brought them before PSMD before and I have already discussed with him, only that now I decided to put it in writing. I have never put anything in writing. And the minister is aware, I have never written anything. The only person who raised the issue was ba Honourable Sikazwe, and I said ine as far as I am concerned, this matter we discussed with the human resource people. Human resource even went to him. They spoke to him as well ba DPS and they guided me. Me I am guided by my personnel people I not guided by anybody, i am guided by people in HR not yourself sir. Today I was trying to get hold of you, you can even ask deputy secretary to Cabinet ba Kangwa, I personally said I have not spoken to PSMD and I am trying to get hold of him I have failed. I tried to get hold of SC I failed, then today I phoned ku office, I phoned your secretary ku office she said you were not around. I phoned on your mobile, someone else answered and said bali mu meeting ba boss. Then I phoned Mrs Kapiya and we spoke to her and explained exactly what happened. Then she said ‘in fact what you do, proceed like that then once you have proceeded, you make a recommendation. Whatever recommendation you are going to make, you forward to us as PSMD, then we will forward to Secretary to the Cabinet. Or Forward to Secretary to Cabinet for our attention. That is what I was advised.
Chimbwali: Nomba nga ba Sikazwe, naba Kaizer ubebele ukweba ati ine ninebo micitile advise ifyo ninani (Who told Mr Sikazwe and Mr Kaizer that its me who advised you to do that?)
Kamanga: Efyo ndelanda (that’s what I am talking about) because ilyashi ilyo (that story) boss… first of all, it’s just indiscipline. Because ine nga chakuti bandembela charge (If I was charged by), whether nimwebo nangu niba Secretary to Cabinet, these are administrative matters. How do we begin to bring in political offices? I don’t know mwandi me I am shocked. Now it means umuntu nga alufyanya ifintu ifwe tatwakulalandako (If someone errors we will not be talking) Because when we talk… this is amazing me to be very honest. Because these things are provided in the disciplinary code. When someone makes a mistake. you write to them and ask them to exculpate themselves. So what have I done wrong?
Chimbwali: Do you have the number for Honourable Sikazwe?
Kamanga: Honourable Sikakwe? I don’t think I have on this phone.
Chimbwali: Okay, I am going to send you the number for Honourable Sikazwe and Munir Zulu and Kaizer Zulu, I want you to call them now and tell them exactly the fact that you have not spoken to me.
Kamanga: Eish, awee mwandi
Chimbwali: You know I am very very upset with the reports which are going round that you spoke to me and you spoke kuli ba Kangwa, I am not aware.
Kamanga: But who did I… uuuhm uuuhm (chuckles)
Chimbwali: I am just from speaking to Honourable Sikazwe, KZ and Munir Zulu. Just now I am going to send you the number just now. I want you to call them and explain to them exactly what you have told me. Because when they told me I was swearing because I couldn’t believe that you could have manufactured a lie of that magnitude over a person you have not spoken to.
Kamanga: Nomba uko balifumishe (where did they get that story) because me I have never spoken to Kaizer Zulu since when, I have never spoken to ba Sikazwe, I don’t even have the number for Munir Zulu.
Chimbwali: Alright, just now, I am sending you the numbers, call them. Once you have clarified this issue please let me know.
Kamanga: Uuumh! Awee mwandini. Okay.