President Edgar Lungu addressing the nation on the eve of independence day.
President Edgar Lungu

Countrymen and women,
Good evening
It is my privilege and singular honour to address you tonight on the eve of our 53rd independence anniversary.

Personally, and millions of others who witnessed the birth of our new nation, 24th October 1964 remains indelible on our minds and the history of our country.

It is, therefore, only fitting and proper that this day is commemorated each year in a special way.

On this day in 1964, at the independence stadium in Lusaka, the first president of the republic of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda received the instruments of power from the colonial government.

As the Zambian flag was hoisted, replacing the british union jack at midnight, our people, in their thousands, shouted “Kwacha!… Ngwee!… Kwacha! Ngwee!,Signaling the dawn of a new era, an era of freedom and self-determination.

A huge copper torch of freedom was lit on the hill overlooking the stadium.

Countrymen and women,

Lest we forget, our independence did not come on a silver platter. Our freedom, sovereignty and dignity as a people, came at a high price, which included imprisonment, banishment and above all, loss of life.

Tonight, we remember with eternal gratitude, the sacrifices of our forefathers and mothers.

We recall their vision and determination to build a strong and united nation founded on love and respect for all people, of all races, tribes and religions.

This determination was demonstrated by the coming together of the likes of Mama Julia Chikamoneka And Betty Chilunga, Mr. Arthur Wina, Mr. Peter Matoka, Mr. Andrew Sardanis, Mr. Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Mr. Anoya Zulu, Mr. Harry Mwanga Nkumbula, Mr. Munukayumbwa Sipalo, Mr. Simon Zukas And Mr. Omelo Mumba, among many others, some of whom are still alive today.

From all corners of this country and all walks of life, they came and were united in the pursuit of self-rule and desire to build a new nation.

Independence day was, thus, not only a joyous occasion, but also one that marked a clean break from the bondage of the past.

As we celebrate this day, we also join the rest of the world in commemorating the founding of the united nations born out of a set of common ideals to secure world peace, the rights and protection of refugees, health for all and food security, to mention but a few.

Countrymen and women,
The choice of 24th October, which is also the united nations day, as our independence day, was thus a reflection of the progressive ideals this nation stands for.

The theme for this year’s independence anniversary is: “Celebrating Our Freedom For Continued Peace, Unity, Patriotism, And Development”.

This theme reminds us all of the need to celebrate our independence, by upholding the values and virtues bequeathed to us by the very inspiring generation of our freedom struggle.

Let us therefore, continue to build on these principles, which are well articulated in our national anthem.

Let us use this momentous occasion, individually and collectively, to reflect on the freedom that we have continued to enjoy.

Let me hasten to emphasize that the freedom we enjoy today comes with duties and responsibilities.

Countrymen and women,
Freedom is only tenable in an atmosphere of peace. No country can truly be free without peace. Zambia has continued to be a haven of peace since we gained our independence in 1964. Let us all work towards keeping this cherished record.

This achievement has not come by accident, but has been a result of our conscious and collective efforts in carrying forward the ideals espoused by the founders of this great nation. We should be thankful to God almighty for this blessing.

The peace and tranquility that we continue to enjoy has been key to attracting investment in sectors such as mining, construction, energy, agriculture, telecommunications and tourism. This is contributing positively to reducing poverty and vulnerability of our people through job and wealth creation.

Countrymen and women,
Let me now address the issue of national unity. The struggle for independence was founded and won on account of unity of purpose.

Our country is a blend of 73 tribes with different religions and political persuasions. Despite our diversity, we are all Zambians.

We share a common heritage and a common destiny. We need to stand against anything and everything that attempts to divide us. We are one people.

Indeed, our constitution recognises the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our nation.

We, as a people, have also resolved that Zambia shall remain a unitary and multi-party democratic state. We are only as strong as we are united or as weak as we are divided.

Countrymen and women,
We all have the duty to maintain and promote national unity not only for ourselves, but also for our children and our children’s children.

Without unity, lasting peace is not possible. Without unity, there cannot be any meaningful development. Without unity, there will be no country to be proud of.

Our theme this year also calls us to reflect on the cardinal issue of patriotism. Zambia was born out of patriotism.

The founders of our nation put national interest above self. Therefore, we need to uphold and preserve this spirit, without which we will not be able to fully realise the development we aspire for.

Patriotism is important in preserving our national identity. It is for this reason that our constitution recognises patriotism as one of the key national values and principles.

Countrymen and women,
Let us, therefore, inculcate this positive value in our children. Let patriotism be a currency for both our public and private lives.

Political independence without sustainable development is meaningless. Our independence should, therefore, be used as a vehicle to achieving inclusive development and prosperity.

Our independence will be futile as long as poverty levels in our nation remain high. We should not be satisfied until the fruits of independence roll down to all parts of our country like the waters of the mighty zambezi river flowing from its humble beginnings to the oceans of abundance.
We shall work towards reducing poverty, vulnerability, inequality and unemployment, especially among the youth and women-folk.

In June this year, government launched the seventh national development plan covering the period2017-2021 as a guiding framework to foster development.

Countrymen and women,
Together, it is our collective responsibility to determine our destiny. Together, we must build a thriving and resilient economy for all. Together, it is possible.

As I conclude, let me reiterate that this day, 24th October, our independence day, is not only a reminder of our transition from colonial subjugation to freedom.
It is also a call to continue promoting the values of peace, unity and patriotism bequeathed to us by our founding fathers and mothers. It is a call to us to work hard to foster sustainable development that will propel our country to prosperity.

Let me, therefore, pay special tribute to the church and religious leaders, our traditional leaders, civil society, political parties, the corporate world and international organisations for their unflinching support in fostering development in our country.

Countrymen and women,
Our generation has a collective duty to responsibly exercise this freedom and, indeed safeguard the peace and unity of our nation, under the “one Zambia one nation” motto. Above all, we have an obligation to be patriotic to our great country. Let us put Zambia first in all we say and do.

I wish you all a joyous celebration.
May God bless our great nation, Zambia.
Good night.

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60 COMMENTS

    • @Senior
      Uhuru, that’s stupidity. What language is that in Zambia? In Lamba they will say “…muli batumpile mwebo Ba Citizen”.

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    • Independence should be for everyone, not just you and your state house staff bank accounts. You need to pay back the money.

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    • The forefathers should be turning in their chairs and graves. 53 years and we are truely not independent. You chased away one set of oppressors and brought in another set with insatiable kleptomanic appetites.

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    • I wonder how many African Presidents are coming? Will KKIA tarmac handle all those private jets since our excuse for a President has attended every celebration on the continent.

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    • @Doctor Chaos Theory – you are quite right. They chased away one set and have brought in another in the form of Chinese – Lusaka now looks like CHINA TOWN !

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  1. 42for42
    If you turn those numbers will be
    24for24 -October.
    Magic numbers…. Do you need evidence to prove that?

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  2. There’s a group of bitter people who still wants to be governed by foreigners. After losing elections they run to the same so that this country can be destroyed.

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  3. HH OVAL HEAD We do not need foreigners to destroy this country we have done it ourselves with our selfnishness and the misuse of the instruments of power vested on some of us.

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    • @Kubweka you are sadly right..

      It seems like all corrupt governments go back and Balme our passed for our present.. but how? Is it not now youas Zambia that is governing itself?

      “We recall their vision and determination to build a strong and united nation founded on love and respect for all people, of all races, tribes and religions.”

      None of the above stated has been accomplished in the last 53 years..

      Shameful what Zambians are doing to Zambian.
      Yet the ones in power are the one selling this country to foreigners..

      No president apart from Mwanawasa (MHSRIP) cared and created empowerment for Zambians..

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  4. Zambia its 53yrs but still wandering in the desert with no sight of the promised land.Look at the misery in Misisi ,Chibolya and even far away Chipata iwe Bwana Lungu.The real uhuru is the freedom from sickness and poverty.

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  5. Comment: the problem that most of you have is that your eyes can only see the bad things that others have done. are you sure that there is nothing good they done!? even you are you hundred percent perfect on all you’re doing? hmmm ,,,,,,,,,

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    • The point is that the bad has to pointed out even if there is also some good somewhere. The noble struggle is to rid ourselves of all that hinders us from bringing basic decency to all our people. Food, Health, Education, Shelter….

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  6. Zambia independence -Oct 1964 ,per capita income $1342.

    Singapore independence -Aug 9th ,1965,per capita $55,252.
    The difference is clear who is independent from ignorance ,poverty and misrule.

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    • @ Enka… comparing apples with bananas sir/madam. Some countries we compare ourselves to have geopolitical advantages and evidently, a reason a lot of resources and interests are poured into their nations. Zambia is no fit to those advantages, however, having said that, we are trying if you look at what we have borrowed and put into developmental projects. AM NOT SAYING ALL IS GOOD… we have individuals turning us over and screw1ng the nation. We can do more! Otherwise Lungu in my humble opinion should lead us until we find another descent leader who I cannot see at the moment!!!

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    • @ NSCS
      You are the epitome of all what is wrong in Zambia. @ Enka has made VALID comparison. Singapore has progressed from mosquito’s infested swamp without any natural resources whatsoever (not even drinking water) to global hub.
      Education (from zero to top 10 in the world);
      Medical facilities (ask uncle Bob who enjoys his senility treatment at regular intervals);
      Corruption (you do not want to do that in Singapore);
      Rule of Law (our “learned” Endemically Corrupt Leader will be guest in Changi Correctional facility)……
      Do you need more or your advantages of huge natural resources coupled with GREED, INCOMPETENCE and CRIMINALITY are justified to show your inbreed servitude to YOUR elected SERVANTS?

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    • @ Free… no one is arguing the trajectory of Singapore’s development. Read up on Singapore, “why Singapore became an economic success”! “epitome of what is wrong in Zambia” did you read my post sir? If you did, and you replied in that manner, I rest my case. Again what is obtaining in Zambia in some circles in unacceptable, we can only paddle with the oar we have at hand. You are busy typing away and critiquing, what are you doing to make Zambia a Singapore? My guess is nothing

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    • Good speech to remind us what independence really means. What’s wrong is our attitude as Zambians. We expect things to be done for us. We look @ another country & we want to have it without knowing how they got it. Hard work, integrity & honesty is not just for politicians. We like short cuts. We like short term benefits. We like tribalism. We kill good ideas like 7NDP that can prosper nation because we don’t like particular leader. We hate progress. We hate Zambian products. Then we lose whole 5 years & another 5 years & now it’s 53. No country can develop with such negative attitudes. I’ve lived long enough to know we’re experiencing best living stds so far. Best way to attack poverty is to take development to people. Gov’t’s mostly doing it’s part but it’s us educated Zambians…

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    • Gov’t’s mostly doing it’s part but it’s us educated Zambians who’re failing to come up with personal plans to contribute to development. We want only govt & foreigners to employ us & create jobs. Do something for your country & stop being self centred! God help us & God Bless Zambia!

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    • NSCS – You are dealing with people who do not have analytical skills. A comparison to them, is just that, a comparison. They do not the tools to make comparisons by looking at equivalent bases – and the baseline.

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  7. Zambians love to be cheated with the same cheap talk!
    There is nothing to show we are independent. We are forever Dependent!
    To all Zambians, happy in dependence day!

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  8. This day is a commemoration of 53 years of mediocrity. Despite its abundant natural and human resources Zambia has steadily being going down. Infrastructure has been let to run down until it is virtually unusable then we get huge loans from the chinese for “infrastructure development”! Schools and colleges have been let to deteriorate yet we shamelessly ask the chinese to build new ones and go to cut ribbons, institutional houses have collapsed due to lack of maintenance ( I remember the Public Works Dept of yester years) the but the chinese are at hand to build more and we cut ribbons and of course a cut for the few.Roads and bridges are left to deteriorate until they are impassable but there is “infrastructure development” coming! Service delivery is long gone. Populations go…

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    • We just vote in fooools who come in to campaign for the next election….look at Lazy Lungu utterly useless!!

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  9. Celebrating Independent with crooks like Lazy Bum Edgar is like a dog celebrating its birthday with fat ticks and fleas on its back.

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    • These are speeches like that silly national prayer day…when he says unity he means no one should question him.

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  10. UPND cadres,cant you preach peace for once?you preach hate speech everyday.dont you get tired?allow us majority Zambians to celebrate independence in peace.watch how citizens are celebrating in large numbers.watch on ZNBC TV live.majority Zambians are with PF Govnt whether your HH likes or believes this fact or not!!!The Botswana’s president Lt.Col.Khama is the guest of honour so what else can HH’s followers tell us?you can hung with your bitterness.next elections are in 2021!!
    HAPPY 53 INDEPENDENCE DAY ZAMBIA!!

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  11. Zambians are well-known when it comes to giving great speeches. Trouble is implementation and walking the talk. We are a nation drunk with mediocrity and false pretences!

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  12. I challenge anyone with statistical evidence to prove that Zambia endowed with abundant natural and mineral resources is economically, socially and politically better off today than it was 53 years ago.

    Our forefathers espoused self rule and self determination with true economic emancipation and not recycling colonialism. It was the British now it’s Chinese colonisation.

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  13. Its independence day people please. Even in a family if they have weddings or any celebrations they put away differences and celebrate then at another time discuss the issues of concern. Sincerely speaking it will be unfair to blame PF for the challenges this nation is facing. Lets be honest, if you truly know about development with regard to leadership, you will understand with easy that with all due respect to Dr Kaunda and his first cabinet, they did not have a blue print at hand for the development of the nation. If they had, they wouldn’t have spent such huge resources in liberating the region at the expense of national development. Whilst the Zambians were looking forward to development Kaunda and his team spent ….

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  14. CONT. Whilst the Zambians were looking forward to development Kaunda and his team spent the first 27 years of independence focusing on liberating the region. Remember RSA got independence in 1991(End of Apartheid). You can’t eat a cake and have it. Zambians we must be sincere with ourselves. Thats when we will stop blaming innocent people. There was no yearly budget for liberation support. It was a dark hole. Secondly most of our parents graduates for that matter enjoyed the so called ZIMCO conditions. The question is who was paying for all that or where was the money coming from? To me sorry, that was poor leadership. Imagine mine workers were getting free meali meal twice a month, free bulbs. Government and parastatal …

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  15. CONT. Government and parastatal officials had cars for wives, children paid for by the government. Is that how you develop a country. Freedom to most Zambians meant free things without working. Thats why citizens were promised free eggs per day, from where is that done. A day like this we are told government would distribute free alcohol, soft drinks, buns and biscuits. Who was paying for all these things? The answer is simple , the future generation i.e you and me. So let us reason together as the current generation and come up with a strategy to develop this nation. China has just done that today. They have decided where and how they want to move as a nation. ECL and HH should not be pitched as enemies but guiders to the future we desire.

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    • @ Dominion… Boss, in retrospect, as painful as it is liberating our neighbours, we needed to do it to be safe and most probably why we are a peaceful nation to date (Kudos to KK). We would have been having trouble from the white region and moreover, they wouldn’t have been trading with us, but giving us more of AID like they do now. So am happy our forefathers did not kick the cane down the road.

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    • The mistake KK did make though, was fielding uneducated personnel in parastatals, as long as you pleased him either with songs etc… However, considering the level of knowledge, technical competency and skill set we had from the pool of the population at the time, he (KK) really had no choice but fielded parastatals with half baked competent personnel (e.g Mayenge band was Managing director somewhere and many others), was very young at the time can’t recall but written history has it.

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  16. What’s hurting now is seeing our educated brothers apathetic, hence, leaving room to ushering low level politicians, who can’t defend nor raise a motion in parliament (any one remember Richard Kazala? multiply his calibre across board, you will find a handful of credible MPs)

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  17. God bless you Mr. President! God bless Zambia! The other one WILL NEVER be president in Zambia! He wants to sell Zambia! He has a lot of people who want to buy! Privatisation was enough! Once beaten (Zambia), Twice, shy!

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  18. Patriotism is mentioned repeatedly….im not too sure why…….its like the leader is saying dont criticize me because its unpatriotic……

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