Zambians need to work hard and sacrifice in order for the country’s development agenda to propel forward, President Michael Sata has said.
Mr Sata said Governments decision to remove subsidies was meant to equitably spread the national cake to all Zambians
He said Government could not maintain the fuel subsidy at the expense of many Zambians especially those in rural areas wallowing in abject poverty hence the need to adroitly uplift their livelihood.
Mr Sata has since called for sacrifice and hard work among Zambians citing first republican President Kenneth Kaunda, freedom fighter Grey Zulu and others who greatly sacrificed for national development.
“Why should poor people particular those in rural areas continue to suffer? We can’t have fuel subsidies when majority of Zambians are living poverty. Removal of these subsidies are meant to benefit all Zambians to improve their welfare,” he said
Mr Sata was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he officiated at the Inter-denominational Thanksgiving service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to commemoration this year’s Africa Freedom Day and the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU).
This year’s commemoration theme is dubbed ‘Building on 50 years of African solidarity and striving towards peace, development and prosperity for all’.
President Sata said Zambians should learn to work hard like Dr Kaunda and Mr Zulu among other freedom fighters that fought hard and incalculably sacrificed their lives for the betterment of citizens.
He said the people of Zambia were currently enjoying a peaceful atmosphere because of Dr Kaunda and Mr Zulu remained disciplined, committed and focused to ensure Zambia was liberated.
He said there was need for people to remain prayerful, steadfast and committed to the work of God especially that Zambia was now 49 years after attaining independence from colonial masters.
“God is seeing all of us and all good things we do will come to us. Even you Diplomats, you should thank God for coming to Zambia as peaceful nation,” he said
President Sata read the second Bible reading taken from the book of Isaiah 61:1-3 while the first reading was conducted by Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia executive director Pukuta Mwanza from Leviticus 25:10-12.
And Rev Mwanza said commemoration of the Africa Freedom day was an important because it reminded people of the past and hence the need for Africans to look to the future with a new hope for continued peace in the continent.
“We pray with faith in a great God that he will enable us to surmount the probelsm we face and continue to overcome the challenges on our continent,” he said
Rev Mwanza said Africa was always treated as a silent partner in dealing with the West which had adverse effects on the development agenda of African continent.
He said the imposition of unfair demands of Africa governments had made it difficult for the AU agenda to be realised immediately though it had produced significant achievements in some areas.
And delivering a sermon during the fully packed church, Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) chairperson Bishop David Masupa called on opposition leaders to offer positive and not negative criticism to Government.
He said it would not always help opposition leaders to negatively attack Government without calling for amicable solutions and dialogue to iron-out pressing matters.
Earlier, President arrived at the church around 13:35 hours and was received by Cabinet Minister among other Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba, Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Minister Christopher Yaluma and Defence chiefs.
As the Head of State was walking into the building, scores of Patriotic Front (PF) cadres sang songs of solidarity and police had a tough time to control the almost unruly cadres while chores members also sang melodiously inside the building.
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini, acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda and other Cabinet and Deputy Minister also participated in the prayers.
Among politicians in attendance were National Restoration Party president Elias Chipimo who called for continued peace and harmony among Zambians while People’s Party leader Mike Mulongoti was grateful for unity and peace prevailing in the country.