President Lungu pays tribute to Africa’s heroes as Zambia Commemorate African Freedom Day

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President Lungu reading through some documents during the news conference
President Lungu

President Edgar Lungu has called on Zambians to reflect on the sacrifices made by the founding fathers and mothers as they Commemorate this year’s African Freedom Day.

The President has also urged Zambians to pay tribute to Africa’s heroes such as Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Kwame Nkruma, Julius Nyirere, Gamal Nasser, Ben Bella and Emperor Haile Selassie among others for their visionary leadership.

The Head of State also recognized the role heroines such as Nakatindi Yeta, Julia Chikamoneka, Chibesa Kankasa, Mary Fulano and Zenia Ndhlovu, for having played a leading role in the country’s freedom struggle.

President Lungu also saluted Mama Betty Kaunda, Salome Kapwepwe, Yolanta Chona, Joyce Chimba, Agnes Changufu, Phyllis Milner, Edna Kamanga, Inonge Wina, Princess Nakatindi Wina, Grace Matoka and others, who provided invaluable support to many families during the freedom struggle.

And President Lungu says Zambia as part of the African Union, remains committed to the union’s ideals and aspirations as enshrined in the agenda 2063.

The President noted that women continue to contribute significantly towards the socio-economic development in Zambia and the continent as a whole.

President Lungu said Zambia has recorded positive strides towards the participation of women in politics which has resulted in positive changes in the political terrain.

Below is the Africa Freedom Say’s full speech

Countrymen and women,

Good evening

Tomorrow, 25thmay, 2016, Zambia joins the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Freedom Day. This is an important day on both our national and continental calendars because it gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our founding fathers and mothers in the struggle for the liberation of our richly endowed continent from colonial rule.

Let us take a moment to pay particular tribute to the continental heroes who include our first republican president Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, Kwame Nkrumah Of Ghana, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Of Tanzania, Gamal Abdel Nasser Of Egypt, Ben Bella Of Algeria And Emperor Haile Selassie Of Ethiopia, whose visionary leadership is the foundation of what Africa is enjoying today.

On this historical day, we will also commemorate 53-years of the founding of the organisation of African unity (oau), which is now called the African union (au).
The oau, whose charter was signed on 25th may, 1963 in addis ababa, ethiopia, focused on the liberation of Africa as well as the co-ordination and enhancement of co-operation between and among states, defending their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

The laudable efforts and sacrifice of our founding fathers have resulted in relative peace and security on the continent, creation of economic blocks and the transformation of the oau into the African union.

Zambia, as part of the African union, remains committed to the union’s ideals and aspirations as enshrined in the agenda 2063.

Countrymen and women,
This year we are commemorating the Africa Freedom Day under yet another unique theme “celebrating the role of women in the liberation struggles”.

Therefore, as we celebrate our continental day of unity tomorrow, it is important that we take a moment to reflect on and pay tribute to the many unsung heroines who made it possible for us to enjoy our freedom.

In this regard, let us remember and celebrate great women such as Nakatindi Yeta, Julia Chikamoneka, Chibesa Kankasa, Mary Fulano And Zenia Ndhlovu, who played a leading role in our country’s freedom struggle.

Let us also salute Mama Betty Kaunda, Salome Kapwepwe, Yolanta Chona, Joyce Chimba, Agnes Changufu, Phyllis Milner, Edna Kamanga, Inonge Wina, Princess Nakatindi Wina, Grace Matoka and others, who provided invaluable support to many families during the liberation struggle.

Let us also celebrate subsequent generations that have contributed and are contributing to our country’s continued peace, unity and stability. This is truly in line with our national motto of “One Zambia, One Nation”.

Countrymen And Women,
Being victorious in the liberation struggle was, but just the beginning of many other life struggles. These struggles include the fight against deprivation, political exclusion, hunger, ignorance, poverty and disease, just to mention but a few. I note with gratitude that women have carried on and continue with these struggles on a daily basis.

Women constitute more than 50 percent of the Zambian population. They have and continue to contribute significantly towards the socio-economic development of our great nation.

One of the most significant developments in Africa is the increase in women’s participation in politics. Statistics show that African countries have had some of the world’s highest rates of women parliamentary representation.

Zambia has recorded positive strides towards the participation of women in politics. This is as a result of the positive changes in the political terrain due to government’s deliberate efforts and the emergence of autonomous women movements.

These factors, along with similar and complementary initiatives from regional, continental and international actors such as the southern African development community, the African union and the united nations have pushed the agenda for inclusion of women in governance.

Among the initiatives from regional and continental bodies is the 50/50 protocols on gender representation in decision-making positions.

Countrymen And Women,
While notable progress has been made in ensuring that our women participate in the country’s politics. But sadly, many obstacles still impede women participation in elections. These include gender stereotypes, inhibitive political structures, limited access to resources and political violence among others.

My government, in line with the aspirations of our constitution, sadc and the au protocols, is committed to ensuring that Zambian women play their rightful role in politics.

Countrymen And Women,
As our great nation heads towards the general elections on august 11 this year, we in the patriotic front have taken the lead in addressing the effective participation of our women in politics.

As president of the ruling patriotic front and of the republic of Zambia, I appointed Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, Mp, as Vice-President Of The Republic Of Zambia. This, as you are aware, is the first time in the history of our country that a woman has been appointed to the second highest office in the land. We must all be proud of this exceptional record. Hopefully sooner than later she will be the first woman president.

I remain committed to ensuring that the position of republican vice-president is held by a woman hence my announcement last saturday during the PF national campaign launch that my running-mate in the august 2016 elections is Mrs Inonge Wina.
Additionally, the PF has resolved to reserve minimum 40 percent of all elective positions in local government and parliamentary elections to the women.
I urge other political parties to provide similar platforms to women to enable them participate more in our country’s governance.

Countrymen and women,

As president and a lawyer myself, I understand fully and I am proud to continue to recognise the importance of women in building a better Zambia. That is why in fact I have appointed a significant number of women to various positions of authority, including in the legal and justice system.

Zambia now boasts of the first female chief justice, mrs ireen mambilima, female judge president of the newly established court of appeal, Mrs Justice Fulgency Mwenya Chisanga, and female judge president of the newly established constitutional court, Ms. Justice Hildah Chibomba. For sure justice is being served in our country by our ladies.

Furthermore, more women are being appointed as justices and judges of our superior courts. Even the law association of Zambia now has their first ever female president in Ms. Linda Kasonde. We are indeed proud of the achievements of our women.

Countrymen and women,
Despite the successes scored, the country is still facing a number of injustices against women and girls. These include gender-based violence, child abuse and early child marriages. It is for this reason that govermnent is undertaking legal and justice reforms to enhance the delivery of justice to our women.

Zambia has recorded good maize harvests in the past decade, with women playing a leading role. I, therefore, wish to salute our hardworking women for their invaluable contribution to the country’s food security.

Despite playing the greatest part in the nation’s agricultural production system, women constitute the largest component of the poor in Zambia. This is as a result of a number of factors which include negative cultural practices, limited agriculture extension services and limited access to finance and improved farming technologies.

Countrymen and women,
Going forward therefore, my government, in line with our pro-poor growth strategy, is committed to addressing these challenges.

We put in place a policy to reserve 30 percent of available land for women, while the remaining 70 percent is available to both men and women. Another initiative include establishment of the first ever women’s bank which is aimed at increasing women’s access to credit.

There is no doubt that if women enjoyed the same degree of access to agricultural inputs, capital and land, as men do, agricultural output in Zambia would increase tremendously.

Countrymen and women,
Since our independence in 1964, Zambia has made significant strides in the advancement of education for girls and women and all critical indicators in education shows that success is being recorded towards the advancement of girls and women education. Enrolment, progression and completion rates among other indicators, have generally improved over time.

I wish therefore to commend and celebrate our girls and women for responding positively to the various education initiatives put in place by successive governments, non-governmental organisations, co-operating partners, the church and other stakeholders. I also wish to salute the teachers for their diligence, hard work and patriotism in the implementation of government programmes towards our women.

Countrymen and women,
Despite these successes, many challenges still remain. There are still high incidences of drop outs due to poverty, teenage pregnancies and early marriages including limited educational spaces and inadequate and inadequate number of teachers, especially in rural Zambia, among others.

The PF government remains committed to the enhancement of education for girls and women. We will continue to move with a renewed sense of purpose to provide a conducive environment for the advancement of education for girls and women.

Countrymen and women,
I wish to take this opportunity on the eve of Africa Freedom Day, to appeal to all women and girls who have attained the voting age to turn out in large numbers to exercise their right to vote.

Not only should you participate as voters, but you also have a serious role to play by contributing to violence free campaigns so as to guarantee peaceful elections.

Indeed in times of turmoil, the women and children are the most affected, hence the need for you Zambian women and girls to preach peace, if we are to continue maintaining our enviable record as a beacon of peace and stability, we need the women and girls to preach peace.

To our men, lifting weapons against your brothers will not deliver positive election results. But even as we go for elections, we need to coexist because after elections, we still need our Zambia intact for us to forge ahead.

Countrymen and women,
The freedom that we are commemorating tomorrow is the very fact that gallant men and women heavily sacrificed for. Therefore, for us to continue honoring our heroes and heroines, we need to strongly condemn violence and promote peace at all times.

Let me conclude by wishing all Zambians and the rest of Africa peace and harmony as we commemorate Africa Freedom Day.

May god bless our great nation Zambia,
May god bless Africa.
Thank you and goodnight.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Yes and your thugs under instructions from you stripped a young woman naked on labour day in full view of your so called vice president inonge wina.

    Lungu you are a thug hiding behind the church. You are unleashing brutality and undemocratic violence and oppression on the opposition in your quest to hang on to power at all costs.

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    • A word of advise to all speech writters engaged by our national leaders, please never use lower case “G”at anytime in referring to Jehovah the immutable”God” because god refers to spirial idols of inconsiquencial value. The upper case God is for the immortal God.

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  2. Yes we are reflecting on the state of the economy and how we shall get out of this state.

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  3. Two things Mr President that have come out salient in your speech which i need to commend. 1. Women empowerment and the affirmative action taken ie ownership of land, access to capital and mechanised farming implements. 2. Denouncing violence. True as put, in turmoil the pipo who suffer the most are women and children. Lets preach peace and also may our eligible women and girls turn out in large numbers and vote for their prefered candinate in the tripertite elections and also in the referendum. To the women and heroins, I salute u. Happy freedom’s day.

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  4. You killed them end of story. All in the name of wining votes by bribing people and using tax payers money to bring people by ulterior means. The blood of the people who died is in on your hands Mr. President. You and your whole PF clan are and will be held responsible. Everything has to be big and a show off like a teenage boy. You are putting more people in poverty for a one night stand. And this is just the beginning and fearful of how much more will be spent instead of investing on infrastructure development. Are people going to feed their hungry stomachs by attending an event or get treated if they get sick or get into an accident by attending your event? How much did you pay those performers? People please look past theses shenanigans. If you are hungry now what more in the next 5…

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