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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

President Edgar Lungu’s Address to the Nation on New’s Eve

Headlines President Edgar Lungu's Address to the Nation on New's Eve

President Edgar Lungu address at Asian Boao Forum in China on Saturday for the Annual Summit 28-03-2015 -PICTURE BY EDDIE MWANALEZA/STATEHOUSE.
President Edgar Lungu

I address you on this last day of the year of our Lord 2015, as a grateful and proud President of this great country.

I have been deeply touched and humbled by the support you have given me and my government from the time we assumed office at the beginning of this year.

Country Men and Women

Three months before that, the country had been brought together by the shock and grief that gripped the nation, following the sudden demise of our beloved President, his Excellency Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata. We mourned that great man in the true spirit of one Zambia, one nation.

I say thank you to you all for giving our late president a solemn and dignified send-off. May his soul rest in peace.

Country Men and Women

The months that followed the passing of our dear president were not easy. The very heart and soul of this nation was at stake as the country jostled to find another leader.

We could easily have fallen on the all-too-familiar path of African politics where elections are not a cause for celebration, but rather, a precursor to violence, destruction of property, loss of life and the general breakdown of law and order.

Thanks to the maturity and collective wisdom of our people, we avoided that grand narrative. Once again, we demonstrated to the outside world that democracy was truly alive and well in Zambia. We showed the world that here, in this great country, the will of the people still reigns supreme, and that once the people have spoken through the ballot, we respect their choice.

During the January 20 elections, the people of Zambia reposed their trust in me and the patriotic front party by giving us the mandate to continue running the affairs of this country. We shall forever remain indebted to you all for that distinctive honour and trust.

Country Men and Women

From the very beginning, as the 6th President of the republic of Zambia, I set out the principles that would guide my administration.

I did that after a great deal of thought and reflection. I spoke fervently about the need to foster the unity of our people if we were to develop as a country.

I called on all of us to focus on things that united us as opposed to those that divided us. I said then that there was no room for rancour or revenge in the aftermath of the elections. I still want the nation to live by that principle.

As Government we are determined to banish hunger and poverty from our midst and we cannot achieve that goal if we are consumed with bitterness and the spirit of revenge.

On day one of my Presidency, I implored the nation to join the crusade against poverty by working hard and embracing the robust and transformative agenda of this government.

Country Men and Women

Looking back now, I am satisfied that you, our people and masters, have no cause to doubt the sincerity of this government, your government.

I promised you a listening government and you now have a government that is truly at the service of the people. For instance, government heard the cry of the mining sector and revised the mineral royalty tax downwards to attract more investments.

We also made progress on the constitution making process by passing a truly people-driven constitution during the last sitting of parliament. I stand proud and ready to sign into law that collective will of the people. This is an epic moment when the nation comes together to express their collective aspirations. It is a moment that calls for courage because we are doing things that have been dreaded in the past. That document will revolutionise our politics in many respects. Let me take this opportunity to thank all Zambians for this great achievement. For the remaining aspects of the constitution, I promised the nation a referendum, and that is what the nation will get once we are ready!

Our people are now happy that the government rescinded its decision to increase road traffic penalty fees. Equally government has deferred the decision to re-establish a national airline;

Government is revising the former Presidents’ benefits act and the conditions of service for other constitutional office holders in order to reduce government expenditure;

You will also recall that I undertook to submit myself to your counsel and guidance. I have adequately demonstrated that.

I will remain true to the vision I set out on my inauguration day, regardless of the difficulties that may come our way. When they do, we should be of courage to turn to god our creator and seek his divine counsel and illumination.

Country Men and Women

I am proud to note that in the first eleven months of my presidency, the country has continued to enjoy peace, stability and development.

At a revised projected 3.4 percent GDP growth rate, Zambia’s economy remains strong despite the slump in copper prices and the unfavourable weather conditions.

The latter has affected electricity generation and this has had telling effects on households, the farming community, business houses and the mining sector.

But the nation can be assured that growth is expected to improve in 2016/2017 as copper production picks up and power shortages reduce due to our robust interventions to speed up the commissioning of new power plants.

I remain committed to ensuring that my administration creates conditions to support a further rise in copper production; entrench political stability; improve electricity supply and assure investors of a more stable policy environment that will be anchored on the medium term expenditure framework.

In the southern African region, for instance, Zambia is one of the few countries that can boast of sustained national food security thanks to the hard work put in by our farmers.

I expect agricultural production to increase progressively in the light of our huge investments in rural infrastructure, which I have tasked the Zambia national service to rapidly execute.

Given favourable weather conditions, Zambia is poised to remain food-secure in the coming months. We are one of the few countries in the region that still has sufficient cereals to feed our people.

Our people today are also witnesses to and actively participate in the unprecedented infrastructure development taking place everywhere across the length and breadth of this country.

Construction of roads, schools, hospitals and universities is now a common sight in places where, not too long ago, people had lost hope of ever seeing their government at work.

Thanks to the visionary leadership of our party, today Link Zambia 8000, Pave Zambia 2000, l400 and C400 have become part of our vocabulary whenever we discuss the good things happening to our roads.

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN

In addition, this government has kept up the momentum to attract new investments in energy, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and mining.

The overall goal of all these efforts is to create a vibrant economy that will in turn generate the much needed jobs for our people and bring about prosperity for all, regardless of whether they are in town or the countryside. That’s the hallmark of a responsible and smart government.

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN

These successes notwithstanding, the country has had its own share of economic challenges attributed mainly to developments in the global economy. Zambia’s major trading partners, especially the Eurozone and China, are experiencing a slowdown in the growth of their respective economies.

This slowdown in the Eurozone and China has impacted negatively on Zambia’s export earnings. Copper prices have dropped by 26 percent since the beginning of 2015, leading to a fall in production and scaling back of some mining operations in the country.

This situation is exacerbated by our over dependence on copper at the expense of agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Further, earnings from non-traditional exports have declined by over 35 percent.

Developments in the external sector have led to a sharp depreciation of the Kwacha against the major convertible currencies. I am happy to note the Kwacha has posted some appreciable stability and going forward I expect the measured central bank interventions to continue to enhance currency stability. We are a free market economy and even in the face of noticeable distortions in the market we remain committed to the virtues of a free market.

It is in this regard that I urge investors and citizens in general to ignore irresponsible rumour mongering of the previous weeks that Zambia may reintroduce capital and exchange controls.

The currency depreciation has impacted negatively on the general prices of goods and services thereby, fueling inflation but we remain committed to ensuring that inflation does not spiral out of control.

Needless to say, the fall in copper prices and the non-traditional exports has led to a reduction in government revenue and thus, adversely affecting expenditure.

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN

In the midst of these challenges, government has taken several measures to ameliorate the situation. These measures are starting to bear fruit as evidenced by the sustained stability of the Kwacha during the last one month.

There has also been sustained supply of electricity following short term measures that government has undertaken which include emergency electricity importation.

COUNTRYMEN AND WOMEN

Looking forward into 2016, I expect continued stability of the exchange rate, a decline in inflation and interest rates as well as increased job opportunities.

Government will also endeavor to mitigate the suffering of those who have lost jobs in the mining sector by relocating the willing to existing farm blocks where further assistance will be given in form of skills for agricultural production.

To insulate our economy from external shocks, we will accelerate the pace of diversifying our economy from being over dependent on copper to agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

Country Men and Women

Zambia is part of a global community that has become highly competitive. To this end, government will continue to pursue the policy of enhancing its visibility abroad while being mindful of the austerity measures that i announced during the November 26 press conference relating to the suspension of the creation of new missions abroad.

In this vein, I would like to urge all Zambians to endeavor to project a positive image of our country both at home and abroad. You are our country’s best ambassadors.

Country Men and Women

The year 2016 will be a special one in the history of Zambia in that it will be the first time that the country will be going to the polls under the fifty percent plus one and presidential running mate provisions in the yet to be signed amended constitution.

I wish to commend our parliamentarians from both sides of the house for passing the Constitution Amendment Bill.

The people will be accorded an opportunity to consider the other aspects of the constitution as we proceed.

Country Men and Women

In the recent past the country has been faced with an increase in violence. Once again, I direct the Inspector General of Police to deal decisively with the perpetrators of this violence and to do so with impartiality.

The police should also ensure that the public order act is administered in a manner that ensures equity and fairness.

Country Men and Women

As we enter the New Year, I want to pay tribute to you all for your resilience and solidarity as we tackle the challenges facing the country.

We should not relent in continuing to seek the face of GOD in the New Year as we pursue our ambitious transformational agenda for a smart Zambia now and our vision of becoming a developed country by 2064.

To this end, hard work, unity of purpose and prayer are not an option but an imperative to ensure that Zambia succeeds.

To our partners in development, I wish to thank you all on behalf of the people of Zambia for the support you have continued to render to the country.

Country Men and Women

As I conclude, may I reiterate that as we go to the elections it is the responsibility of everyone to uphold law and order and avoid incidences of violence.

As political leaders we have a civic duty to ensure that the Zambian people exercise their right to freely express themselves and choose their preferred candidates without fear, intimidation or coercion.

Let me emphasise that Zambia is bigger than anyone of us and therefore citizens of goodwill must ignore those politicians who seek state power through divisive tendencies such as descending to base instincts of tribe, colour, sex and other such issues.

The problems that confront us cannot be the reason for hating one another; we are a nation of tolerance; we do not need extremism as a form of engagement; we are a nation of hope; a nation of peaceful co-existence; we are Christian nation!

Finally, I wish you all a happy and a prosperous 2016.

May the Almighty God Bless Zambia.

I thank you.

43 COMMENTS

    • Our nation of Zambia has at many times tottered toward the precipice, but God has never allowed it to tumble. When mature and sincere patriots take a good look at everything, the most crucial and indelible truth beyond doubt is a conclusion that God loves mother Zambia. May God blesses her people from all divides and his appointed leadership in 2016 and beyond.

      Unflinchingly, proud Zambian.

    • May God bless you too, Mr. President … it is great to note that my phrase, a phrase I coined way back in 2007 could be part of your closing statement and yes, “… Zambia is greater than any single one of us!”

      Happy New Year to the First Family, I pray that you would win the upcoming elections and continue leading the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise to more peace and prosperity … thanks a trillion for your leadership and service to our great nation. Proud of you!

      B R Mumba, Sr.

    • It has been horrible year for Zambia.
      Wrong president
      Wrong cabinet
      Please don’t get it WRONG in 2016, Zambia. Wishing you to start being humans.

    • Edgar Lungu is a disaster, a Failed Project (PF) under him, inflarion the highest in 10 years, massive job loses, unprecedented corruption, highest cost of living and the clueless man does not offer alternatives nor inspire any hope. Another 5yrs of Lungu will be catastrophic

  1. Expect more rubbish from this lazy bum drunkard Edgar who is conveniently a born again Christian now whatever that means as everyone is born right first time round blaming his problems of shambolic myopic leadership on global issues ..how did we end with such caliber of appalling Leadership.

  2. Towards 2016…economic growth heading downwards,inflation rising,electricity supply erratic,debt burden growing,export values sharply falling…that reads like the PF life support machine showing signals of eminent death.

  3. To the editor Lusaka times,
    It is sad the way you have entertained insults from H.H and his supporters for so long a time. We are proud Zambians in diaspora, to have President Lungu ruling our beautiful Country. We had elections in Zambia where E.C.L was voted into office. It’s time to respect the Zambian peoples, with their decision of choice in E.C.L. Don’t turn your online news paper promote antagonism by discrediting President Lungu. H.H. and all his people, need to accept defeat. In any election there’s a always a winner and a loser.
    Our Kwacha, is the most stable currency in the sub region. Learn to read the handwriting on the walls of our economies. The Rand is buying our kwacha for the first time. Nigerian currency the Naila is 250 to a dollar. You are one of the news papers…

    • 1 rand = $15
      1 Kwacha = k11,000

      How is the Kwacha buying the rand?

      The Kwacha is the worst performing currency in the world in 2015 according to Forbes

      Meanwhile Aleisa HH

    • If life is so good here in Zambia why don’t you come and live here – where you can enjoy an inflation rate of 21% at present ?? The real losers in last year’s election were the people of Zambia. Our poor Kwacha is totally worthless now as prices of essential commodities continue to rise. How you can say that the Kwacha is “the most stable currency” in the sub region is beyond me.

    • Ba Andy ikalenifye! Zambia removed 3 zeros from the kwacha, if you want to compare Zambia to Naira you must also knock off 3 zeros from naira

  4. God is turning all your CURSES into BLESSINGS for ECL and at the same time making them TENFOLD for your tribal god Hakanya Hakasunda Haleisa Hapitilile Hakaivotela Heka Hater of HumanIty etc etc

  5. pipo with little minds always wants to do politics where it is not needed.They dont see the reason to use wisdom.Your excellence your address to the nation is inspiring to those with wisdom but nothing to those with little mind or no mind at all. To those who doubt the God of this nation will remain in their mouth with haleisa when those who humble themselves excel in 2016. Mark my words they will cry again.

  6. God bless you and the Republic. You have done your best so far. Could have done better but so many odds were against you.
    Best regards for the nation.

    • If this is the “best that he can do” Zambia is in real trouble!

      Every Zambian born this year of 2016 has a KALOBA of 100 THOUSAND US DOLLARS that he or she has to pay back before having any money they can call their own.

      Is this how Lungu and his PF are reducing poverty?

      Talk is cheap.

      When is this man going to “walk the walk” or is he just going to charter more airplanes for $300, 000 for himself and his friends to go joyriding again?

      And send his wife campaigning with expensive Government choppers?

      Does he even know what the job of being President consists of? Or does he think it is just about getting elected at any cost?

  7. @Andrew Chiparamba, please speak for yourself. You cannot say those in the diaspora think ECL is a good president. I personally think he says one thing and does the opposite. See how Tanzania will transform under genuine leadership.

    • Tanzanian president is working for the betterment of Tanzania. If only Zambians can see and compare what Mr. Magufuli is doing for his country they would know why some of us are not happy with Mr. Lungu. If Mr Magufuli was to be the president of Zambia today most Zambian politician would cry because they would have no jobs for being corrupt and not qualified for their positions.

  8. Comment:my pastor had prophesied @ DOXA nite @ church dat president lungu was chosen 2 continue leading da nation but he nidz prayers afta wining da 2016 general elections.

  9. Another Chatter box at play, if he could only do 30% of a few things that are written for him in these speeches, things would be different. Talk is cheap ALungu in case you didn’t know. You talk about Unity as a nation and yet you leave and promote your loose canons in Chama, Mumbi Phiri, Sunday Chanda and others tear on the very fabric of the national unity. You need to start walking the talk and please patronizing us . Tell the Police to be fair to all players on the ground. Those hoodlums who were matching in Lusaka yesterday didn’t even the stupid police but they were not arrested, Sylvia was merely walking home but she’s in court for walking home. And stop your stupid cadres from terrorizing our people for differing with them in their political affiliation. You are a loser!

  10. Rubbish, what peace, kwacha stability, worst loadshading, corruption, no regard for education, worst moral behaviour by president, worst public speaker ” and so on and so forth” drained the treasury coffers…..the list is endless…..just go!!!!how can any sensible head of state donate corn puffs to the sick in a hospice… The advisors are either hopeless or they want him to look stupid…..and how does he even liken himself to Angel Gabriel…..Lungu you need to come down…..

  11. Ba Chilis and your fellow dreamers in upnd “APO MWAYAMBILA ATI ALEISA ALEISA HH”, here does he go and are u not tired?PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK.LET PRESIDENT EDGAR LUNGU LEAD US (HH INCLUSIVE) IN PEACE!! HONESTLY WHO CAN VOTE FOR HH WHO HAS NEVER EVEN BEEN A COUNCILLOR BEFORE? ONLY YOU FELLOW TONGAS-PERIOD!! WE ARE IN 2016 AND VERY READY TO RETIRE HH. WATCH ON TV OR COME TO HEROES STADIUM ON 05/01/2016 WHERE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PF LOVERS WILL BE WITNESSING ECL SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL!!SINCE U CLAIM THAT UPND HAS TAKEN OVER LUSAKA AND CB, THE NUMBERS BEHIND PF WILL PROVE U WRONG ONCE MORE ON TUESDAY!!!

  12. Ba Chilis and your fellow dreamers in upnd “APO MWAYAMBILA ATI ALEISA ALEISA HH”, here does he go and are u not tired?PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK.LET PRESIDENT EDGAR LUNGU LEAD US (HH INCLUSIVE) IN PEACE!! HONESTLY WHO CAN VOTE FOR HH WHO HAS NEVER EVEN BEEN A COUNCILLOR BEFORE? ONLY YOU FELLOW TONGAS-PERIOD!! WE ARE IN 2016 AND VERY READY TO RETIRE HH. WATCH ON TV OR COME TO HEROES STADIUM ON 05/01/2016 WHERE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PF LOVERS WILL BE WITNESSING ECL SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION BILL!!SINCE U CLAIM THAT UPND HAS TAKEN OVER LUSAKA AND CB, THE NUMBERS BEHIND PF WILL PROVE U WRONG ONCE MORE ON TUESDAY!!!Go PF Go!!

  13. Why is it that our friends in diaspora can’t debate constructively? They always engage in insults, anger, tribalism and hate. To me that simply tells me that they’re lunatics who fail to understand the locals and have inferiority complex that local guys run the affairs of this country whilst they do cleaning jobs in Australia, UK and USA.
    To all the diasporans especially UPND cadres who always insult the President please note that as locals, we continue to control things. You will rot with hate and anger in your diaspora as you wide old white people’s A.SS. I rest my case…

    • @Buju From Manyoni Buyantashi,
      I read people`s points of view on this forum and comment to reasonable contributions, but I am forced to react to this crazy commentt, as I believe this is most stupid comment I have ever ready on this forum.
      It just shows how limited you are in your thinking. It doesn’t occur to you that majority of people in diaspora went abroad to study, and some of us have higher degrees and have great jobs in countries where we are. one of the reasons keeping us here are opportunities to advance in our careers and also our new families that we have, that we want to secure for them to a better life.
      For you to bundle everyone in diaspora as people who clean……, this is insane, and can only be uttered by a person with a low class mind. You are a loser and you will…

    • @Kangwa
      Why waste your time responding to some numpty who still thinks only cleaning jobs are reserved for foreigners as it was 20 years!!

    • @Andrew Chiparamba, the reason most people have not respected that decision is simply because the January poll was marred with violence and an unfair playing field vis-a-vis press freedom and media coverage.What can you tell us about the violence against Sampas supporters UPND supporters , vice president and chairperson, threats against the acting president and the illegal PF convention. I am afraid that PF intend to use the same methods this year because logic has it that you don’t change a a winning tactic and team.

  14. Buju from buyantanshi and whatever you call yourself….not all people in diaspora wipe assess as you put it….and even if they did at the mouthed I am sure that they earn way far much better than you on time without disputes…..you will be surprised that another of Zambians hold senior posts in different organisations and sectors and are highly recognised for what they do….straight forward without bribing anyone for a position or promotion. By the way for those in the diaspora, they have been exposed to true liberty whilst we still dwell in colonialism and done by our own that we put in power. In the West Chi Lungu could have gone with the 30 days of being in that position if that Will make you realise how badly he has performed…so accept the criticism and use it wisely to the…

  15. Above all, Zambia for Jesus. Only those who love this nation and respect electorate’s view may have chance to rule. The electorate chose Lungu and when you are insulting the president, you are actually insulting the people who voted for him.

  16. “To insulate our economy from external shocks, we will accelerate the pace of diversifying our economy from being over dependent on copper to agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.”
    ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION INTO THE ABOVE ECONOMIC SECTORS HAS BEEN LONG OVERDUE. DEVELOPING, EG, MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES WOULD TRANSLATE INTO OUR INDUSTRIES CONSUMING COPPER, OTHER MINERALS AND PRECIOUS STONE WE PRODUCE. THIS WOULD IN TURN MAKE OUR COPPER AND OTHER RAW MATERIALS WE PRODUCE EVEN MORE EXPENSIVE EXTERNALLY. MY HOPE IS THAT THIS SPEECH WILL BE TRANSLATED INTO INCREASED ACTION BEFORE AND AFTER 2016 ELECTIONS. IN ANY CASE THE SPEECH WAS SPOT-ON.

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