A GROUP of emissaries claiming to represent former Finance deputy minister Miles Sampa recently met President Edgar Lungu and demanded that the Head of State dismisses Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda or Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Chishimba Kambwili so that the Matero member of Parliament can take up any of the two positions, it has been learnt.
The presidency has revealed that while the Head of State did not want to comment on the resignation of Mr Sampa as Commerce,
Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, the President wanted to put it on record that he was confronted by some people claiming to represent Mr Sampa to fire Mr Chikwanda or Mr Kambwili to pave way for the appointment of Mr Sampa as a full cabinet minister. Special Assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda disclosed yesterday that President Lungu found it absurd that he could be asked to dismiss his ministers to create room for Mr Sampa.
Mr Chanda said some of the people who went to State House to see President Lungu and ask him to elevate Mr Sampa into a full Cabinet minister were at State House a day before the Matero Parliamentarian tendered his resignation.
He said what State House heard from the people claiming to represent Mr Sampa were that the inclusion of the Matero member of Parliament into Cabinet would settle the representation of the Bemba in Cabinet.
Mr Chanda said the group was insinuating that there was a protest that the Bemba tribe was not sufficiently represented and that the dismissal of Mr Chikwanda or Mr Kambwili and the appointment of Mr Sampa was going to balance Cabinet.
“The President does not wish to comment on the resignation of Mr Sampa from Government at all. But the Head of State wishes to place it on record that a group of emissaries came to State House to see him. They claimed to be representing Mr Sampa and asked President Lungu to dismiss Mr Chikwanda as Finance Minister or Mr Kambwili as Information and Broadcasting Services Minister and appoint Mr Sampa in one of the two positions. The President found this suggestion to be absurd. Mr Sampa did not say these things but the people who claimed to be speaking on his behalf said this,” Mr Chanda said.
Efforts to get Mr Sampa failed as his mobile phone went unanswered several times.
And President Lungu has said the acquisition of Finance Bank by Atlas Mara is a confirmation of the investment confidence Zambia is providing in the banking sector.
President Lungu said in a statement issued by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda that he was delighted that Atlas Mara had continued to show confidence in Zambia by investing in the country’s banking sector.
He said the Finance Bank purchase was Atlas Mara’s second buy in a space of six months following the group’s purchase of a significant stake in Banc ABC.
“We particularly welcome Atlas Mara’s acquisition of Finance Bank of Zambia as it secures the future of this dynamic, organically-grown Zambian institution and signals a new chapter for the bank and its customers,” President Lungu said.
President Lungu stated that Atlas Mara’s goal of facilitating financial inclusion particularly for women, financial literacy and innovative financial technology would be good for Zambians.
“My Government will continue to do everything we can to ensure that we have an enabling business operating environment to attract more investors,” President Lungu said.