DIPLOMATS accredited to Zambia, opposition political parties and the civil society, have welcomed the pronouncements made by President Edgar Lungu in his address to the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly in Lusaka yesterday.
German Ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke has welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s speech to parliament, and said that his country shares and supports the President’s call for more decisive action to fight poverty in Zambia and to speed up the diversification of the economy.
Mr Finke said Germany stands ready to continue to support Zambia in these endeavors and to assist the country in overcoming the current economic crises.
In a press statement released yesterday in reaction to the President Lungu’s opening Speech to the fifth session of the Eleventh National Assembly, Mr. Finke said he had taken note of President Lungu’s strong
commitment to protecting and promoting human rights and the rule of law, especially with a view to guarantee freedom of expression and assembly and to apply a zero-tolerance approach in the fight against corruption.
He further cited the call for more inclusive economic growth in order to fight poverty, the call for a diversification of Zambia’s economy and for better financial management and accountability which are being made year after year, government after government.
Norwegian Ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad said in an interview that the President’s speech was progressive as he touched on a number of issues currently affecting the people.
“The President’s speech was good and inspiring as it clearly points the direction in which his Government is moving to develop the country.
“It is clear that the President wants to alleviate the challenges affecting Zambia and it is important that everyone works together with him in achieving this goal. On that basis, the future for Zambia is bright,” Mr Ofstad said.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming said the speech by President Lungu indicated that the Head of State was committed to alleviating the country’s economic challenges.
Mr Yang said every country had its own challenges which could be overcome if political leaders worked together in the spirit of coexistence.
“It was a very comprehensive speech, touching on a lot of issues that are currently affecting the country.
“The problems that Zambia is going through are temporal and can be overcome if the Government is supported with the input of new ideas particularly from Members of Parliament (MPs),” he said.
Meanwhile, Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) Luena MP Gertrude Imenda was happy that the President touched on the issues that she was advocating for Government intervention during the previous sitting.
Ms Imenda said she had advocated for the President to give a roadmap on the reintroduction of the National Airline, workplace productivity and the construction of a fuel pipeline between Zambia and Angola.
Lunte MMD MP Felix Mutati called on President Lungu’s administration to support the ideas coined by the Head of State in ensuring that his vision for the country was implemented.
“The President has the right ideas but the concern has been that of policy implementation by the other Government office bearers.
“The bureaucracy attached to some projects should now be a thing of the past and with the right people backing him, the country will move forward,” he said.
Lukulu West UPND MP Misheck Mutelo said progressive Bills brought to the House by the Government during the current sitting would be supported as the role of MPs was to help improve the livelihood of the people.
The Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) has commended the President for separating the different Ministries which had become inefficient due to their size.
ZNWL has since urged Mr Lungu to appoint more women as Cabinet Ministers in the newly created Ministries to bridge the gender disparity in Government.