NORTHERN Province permanent secretary Elias Kamanga and his Public Service Management Division counterpart Boniface Chimbwali are at pains to explain the suspension of the former’s deputy, Boniface Mbuzi. In an audio recording, Chimbwali is heard telling Kamanga to phone President Edgar Lungu’s political advisor Kaizar Zulu and PF cadre Munir Zulu to explain why he suspended his deputy, Boniface Mbuzi.
Chimbwali quizzed Kamanaga on why he told Kaizar and Munir that he had given him authority to suspend Mbuzi. In response, Kamanga stammered before saying he, in fact, did not speak to Kaizar or Munir but that he followed laid down procedure to effect the suspension on Mbuzi. Kamanga wondered why he would be asked to explain himself to political figures in his execution of duty.
“I have on the other phone that you have suspended your Permanent Secretary, have you suspended your deputy permanent secretary?” Chimbwali asked.
“Aaaah…yes, I was calling actually in the morning. I was calling you Sir in the morning but you were not available,” Kamanga stammered.
Then Chimbwali chips in, “I was not available but is it true that you have suspended your deputy permanent secretary?”
Kamanga: “Aaaaah, eeeem, Yes, I have charged him and we have referred the matter to the disciplinary committee.”
Chimbwali: But when you suspended him, according to the information that you were guided by PSMD to charge him and suspend him, whom did you speak with at PSMD?
Kamanga: Who says I was guided?
Chimbwali: I am speaking with…call Kaizar Zulu now! Explain how and who guided you to suspend your DPS.
Kamanga: Yes sir! Well, I think I was guided by my human resource department officers, we had a meeting and we discussed the matter.
Chimbwali: But did you specifically seek my personal guidance to suspend him…because they are saying that it’s you Chimbwali who guided Kamanga? I have not spoken to you today!
Kamanga: That is not true, eeeem, who is saying that? That’s not true. I think people are…that’s the problem, people like [to] intervene, you can ask even my Minister; at no time did I ever mention you. I said, myself…the matters that I have char…written to [him] I have already brought them before the PSMD, before I have already discussed with him only now I decided to put them in writing. I have never put anything in writing and the Minister is aware. 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 and I told the minister that we discussed it with my human resources people. The human resource even went to him, they spoke to him as well, ba DPS, because I am guided by my personnel people. I am not guided by anybody. I am guided by people in HR and not yourself Sir. Today, I was trying to get hold of you, you can even ask deputy Secretary to Cabinet Ba [Patrick] Kangwa, and I personally said I have not spoken to PSMD, I am trying to get hold of him but I have failed. Then today I phoned the office and was told that you are not around. I phoned on your mobile but somebody else answered and said bali mu meeting ba boss then I phoned Mrs Kaphiya and we spoke and I explained to her what happened and she said, in fact, what you do is proceed like that and once you do, make recommendations and whatever recommendations you make you forward to us as PSMD and then we will forward it to Secretary to Cabinet for attention…that is what I was advised.
Chimbwali: Nomba nga ba Sikazwe naba Kaizar bafumya kwisa…ubebele ati ine ninebo michitile advise ninani (now, were has honourable Sikazwe and Mr Kaizar gotten…who has told them that it’s me who advised?)
Kamanga: Echo ndelanda ilyashi ilyo, first and foremost boss, it is just indiscipline because ine nga ba ndembela charge, whether nimwebo nangu Secretary to the Cabinet, these are administrative matters, why do we begin to bring in Eeeeeeh political offices? I don’t know mwandini ine chilempapusha. Bushe kwena nangu nalufyanya ichintu…ninshi ifwe tatwakulalandako, nga twalandako eeeee awe ine (I’s surprising me; even if I have erred on something, so we can say anything?) It’s amazing [surprising] me, chilempapusha, to be very honest it’s amazing me. Because these things are provided mu disciplinary code, umuntu nga alufyanya you write to them, you ask them to exculpate themselves nomba ninshi ichalubana nichinshi (now what has gone wrong?”)
Chimbwali: Do you have the number for Honourable Sikazwe?
Kamanga: Aaaah, honourable Sikazwe? Eeeeem, I don’t think I have it in this phone.”
Chimbwali: Okay, I am going to send you a number for honourble Sikazwe and Munir Zulu and Kaizar Zulu. I want you to call them now and tell them the fact that you have not spoken to me.”
Kamanga: Ummm, awe mwandini.
Chimbwali: You know, I am very, very upset with the reports which are going…we are circulating that you spoke to me and you spoke kuli ba Kangwa, I am not aware.”
Kamanga: Buu…t, who did I…Uuuuum?”
Chimbwali: I have just been speaking to eeeee, honourable Sikazwe, eeeee, 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. To say the least, 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 ebene uko balifinishe because ine I never spoken to Kaizar Zulu, I don’t know since when, I have never spoken to…who is this? I have never spoken to ba Sikazwe, I don’t have a number to Munir Zulu.
Chimbwali: Right now I am sending you numbers you call them and once you have clarified this issue, call me.
Kamanga: Uuuum awe mwandi…okay!
And when contacted for a comment over their discussion, Chimbwali said he had no comment while Kamanga said he does not discuss government issues in the media.
“Unfortunately, myself I do not discuss government issues in the media. I don’t discuss government issues or administrative issues in the media so that’s my comment,” said Kamanga.