Former State House Press Aide George Chellah says in order to escape modern economic, political and social nightmares, Zambia requires sophisticated and reliable technocratic capacity in its public administration system and not a bloated executive arm of government.
Mr. Chellah says the notion that Zambia needs Deputy Ministers to enhance administrative capacity and delivery is self-serving and superfluous, and flies right in the face of the principle of cost cutting, which is highly recommended for a country with a not so impressive balance sheet as ours.
He said the idea of returning Deputy Ministers into government is inspired by a purely self-interested mindset and is politics of loyalty and compensation at play.
Mr. Chellah said leaders therefore ought to understand that the effectiveness and administrative capacity of modern governments does not depend on the size and weight of the political arm but technocratic ability through the establishment and sustenance of a merit-based civil service particularly that the present world order is such that many state activities and functions demand for top-notch professionalism in order to attain incredible milestones.
He said the executive is important and responsible for all government policies and daily administration of state affairs but having a bloated one will not yield anything for the country in comparison to stuffing the bureaucracy or civil service with plenty specialized and exceptional hands.
Mr. Chellah noted that a lean executive can still achieve the unimaginable if paired with a highly technocratic and dependable civil service.
“With less than 20 cabinet ministers, Singapore, a global financial centre with a GDP of over US$ 450 million and a population 5 million as at 2018 validates my standpoint – big is not always better”, he added.
He said Zambia therefore urgently requires technocratic capacity in government by deliberately investing in capacity building and educational schemes for its civil service more than Deputy Ministers.
Mr. Chellah said the real performance of any government globally heavily relies on organizational structure and human capital development.