Secretary to the Treasury Ben Botolo has been transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the same portfolio while principal secretary (PS) administration in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Cliff Chiunda now takes the Treasury mantle.
Botolo confirmed his transfer in an interview yesterday, saying the move is normal in the civil service.
He said: “I can confirm to you that I have been re-assigned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. So, now am just doing handovers.”
Botolo, with extensive experience in the public service, has served as Secretary to Treasury for a little over two years.
However, Chiunda would not comment on his new appointment, referring The Nation to Chief Secretary in the OPC Lloyd Muhara, who did not pick his phone when called.
“This is an administrative issue, hence I cannot talk, please call the Chief Secretary,” he said.
Having served as an economist in government since 1988, Chiunda brings to the position of ST experience in public finance management. He has also served as PS for the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
He has also served as PS in the Performance Enforcement Department in OPC.
Chiunda’s vacant post has since been filled by Kiswell Dakamau who was Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development PS.
The reshuffle in the top tier of the public service has extended to other ministries, including Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Ministry of ICT PS Erica Maganga has swapped posts with Esmie Kainja who was PS for Gender while former district commissioner Charles Kalemba has been promoted to PS at the Local Government Ministry.
Government spokesperson Henry Mussa could not be reached when contacted yesterday as he was reportedly out of the country.
Commenting on the development, governance and development specialist Henry Chingaipe said that it remains speculation that the transfers are politically motivated.
“The transfers are many and you cannot pin down what the motive behind this one is. Some are promotions, but the movement of the ST is one which we can say may have a motive behind it,” he said.
The country goes to the polls on May 21 this year to elect a president, members of Parliament and councillors. n