President Lungu has finalised his cabinet, ending up with 29 national ministers (1 short of the constitutional allowance), along with 10 provincial ministers. There are no deputy ministers, as the new Constitution did away with them completely. Three of the ministers are yet to be named, but Lungu has already announced the creation of their ministries.
The cabinet is one of the largest ever seen in Zambia. Lungu’s first cabinet, more or less inherited from the late President Sata in January 2015, consisted of 20 ministers. His second cabinet, following changes made in October 2015, consisted of 25 ministers. Both cabinets had about 40 deputy ministers, although the exact figure is unknown. Before the PF, President Banda of the MMD had 23 ministers and 41 deputy ministers.
Since the ruling PF party has no MPs in UPND’s strongholds; Southern, Northwestern and Western Provinces are not represented. Ministers (cabinet and provincial) come from constituencies in Luapula (7 ministers), Eastern (6), Lusaka (6), Copperbelt (4), Northern (2), Central (2) and Muchinga (1).
8 of the 29 appointed ministers (27.6%) are women, an improvement on parliament’s 17.1%.
The cabinet held its first meeting on 3 October, when Lungu told his new ministers that he wants to receive quarterly reports from each of them on the performance of their respective ministries or provinces.