Zambia's new President Rupiah Banda has named his cabinet,
dropping finance minister Ng'andu Magande, who was Banda's main challenger for
the contest to represent the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).
The new finance minister is economist Situmbeko Musokotwane.
minister Magande is widely credited, along with the late President Levy
Mwanawasa for Zambia's current economic growth. Still new Information Minister
Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha told VOA the new
cabinet represents continuity from the late Mwanawasa government.
think it's a good cabinet; it's a well-balanced cabinet that should address the
areas of continuity that the late President Mwanawasa left behind. And also it
should address the need to defeat poverty in the country. It also should
address the economic recession that is going on worldwide that affect Africa,
and Africa is no exception," he said.
finance minister Magande is widely credited, along with the late President Levy
Mwanawasa for Zambia's current economic growth.
Shikapwasha said new finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, an economist also
served as economic advisor to the late President Mwanawasa.
you are aware, the issue of economic growth and economic planning involves many
people in the ministry, and I think President Banda has chosen an individual
who has been behind the economic advisory team that has made it possible for
Zambia's economy to grow. So I wouldn't say why but I can only tell you that
minister Musokotwane is good person that can continue the work that Honorable
Magande was doing," Shikapwasha said.
of main opposition Patriotic Front have staged violent protests over alleged
minister Shikapwasha would not answer directly why President Banda did not
include members of the opposition in his cabinet like U.S. President-elect
Barack Obama is trying to do.
of all I want to commend President-elect Barack Obama who is doing a wonderful
job. One of my daughters in the U.S. has just been talking to me about how
President-elect Obama has reached out to Senator (Hillary) Clinton and is
reaching out to his opponents in the election, Mr. McCain and many others. I
think this is important to democracy, and as in Zambia and the rest Africa we
continue to learn from the American democracy," Shikapwasha said.
pressed further why President Banda did not reach out to his political
opposition by including some of them in his cabinet, Shikapwasha said if given
the time in office, President Banda would be able to learn more from American
due time he will reach out to the opposition. As you know, he is taking over at
a time when we lost a president and there is the need for him to continue what
President Mwanawasa was doing. And he needed his colleagues that have been in
government before to move forward the vision. And I'm sure in due course he
will learn from what President-elect Obama is doing," Shikapwasha said.
Banda also named justice minister George Kunda as his vice president. Foreign
minister Kabinga Pande was retained while information minister Mike Mulongoti
was moved to the ministry of works and supply.