When some people are pushed to limit they rebel. It’s pleasing to some professionals refusing to do wrong things and resigning from their positions. This is the professional culture we would like to emerge in our country among those appointed to public office. This will certainly make politicians aware and mindful of interfering with the running of public institutions.
Consequently, political authorities will refrain in meddling in the operations of state run institutions for fear of office bearers stepping down whenever undue political interference at whatever level is exerted on the board and management decisions of public institutions which are supposed to operate independently.
Not too long ago, we saw the high profile resignation of the Bank of Zambia Governor and most recently the resignation of ZCCM-IH Board Chairperson. Whilst reasons for these resignations may never be provided, we can only conclude that, they relate to the divergence of views between the appointing authority and the concerned persons running public institutions. In a nutshell, political interference by the appointing authorities.
One common thread of the resignations we have cited is that these are individuals who have worked both local and abroad for reputable institutions and are highly qualified individuals who are well conversant with corporate governance issues and therefore, these resignations must have been triggered by their conscience on breaching corporate governance standards.
We urge the appointing authorities to take cognisance of these developments and strongly desist from interfering with the running of state institutions. This is evident from the recently leaked audio which involved a provincial minister, the Head of State and FRA Board chair.
We also urge professionals appointed in public office to extol their professionalism and resist from taking decisions imposed upon them by the appointing authorities. In the event the heat is too much, they should exemplarily step down. This is one way of strengthening our economy, institutional governance structures and at the same time reminding politicians to stay in their lane. After all, for one to be appointed in senior public office, it means the appointing authority is thoroughly satisfied with their competence to independently discharge their duties and therefore needless to interfere. It is a delegated responsibility to act on behalf of the appointing authority and make independent decisions without external undue influence.
This is a good development for the nation and hopefully those inhibited to discharge their duties due to interference will exercise their conscience to step aside.
Fred M’membe President of the Socialist Party