Chief government spokesperson Hon. Dora Siliya has expressed disappointment at opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s response to the declaration of 25th October as a Public Holiday.
Ms. Siliya said President Lungu declared October 25th a public holiday because he observed that government workers unlike those in the private sector do not have industrial breaks.
“The whole essence of the President declaring 25th of October a holiday is that first of all, the government has been listening to what the workers have been saying especially workers in government who do not get industrial breaks compared to workers in the private sector.” Ms. Siliya stated during a joint press briefing on Wednesday.
“And if you recall last year with the then minister of finance she did announce that each year there must be at least two weeks break for all government workers especially non-essential workers , this has not been actualized at the moment but this is part of an effort by the President to recognise that especially government workers they don’t get as much holiday as those in the private sector , because they don’t go on industrial break at the end of the year.”- She added.
She added that this was President Lungu’s response to people’s demands.
“So, this is just an attempt by his excellency to say… lets respond to what the people are saying especially government workers but he was very clear also when he discussed with cabinet this going forward has to be structured.”-She said.
At a time when our economy is performing poorly, the last thing we need is more holidays. The day we celebrate our Independence day is sufficient for a break but we must focus on energizing our industries for greater economic value. #Zambia
— Hakainde Hichilema (@HHichilema) October 22, 2019
Ms. Siliya has described as disappointing Mr. Hichilema’s decision to once again boycott the Independence Day celebrations. She said the Independence Day is aimed at honouring heroes who fought for the country’s Independence.
She added that Mr. Hichilema’s traits are the reason why he has always been denied by Zambians because he wants to be honoured but he doesn’t like to honour others.
“Independence Day celebrations are an honour to forefathers who fought for our independence and not just an individual. Zambia is not looking for a leader who wants to be honoured but won’t honour those who fought for Zambia’s independence.”-She emphasized.
This year’s Independence Day falls under the theme “Our Freedom, Our Country, Our Responsibility for the Citizens.
Meanwhile Ms. Siliya said Zambia managed to attract over USD$5.3 Billion in the first 6 months of 2019. Ms. Siliya said this is contrary to an impression created by one opposition leader that Zambia has stopped attracting investment.
She said the investment was in the areas of Agriculture, Energy, Manufacturing, Construction, Tourism and manufacturing.
She says from the said investments, over 9000 jobs were created indicating an increase of 36 percent during the same period last year.
“ZDA said in the first 6 months of this year Government attracted over USD$5.3 Billion in the energy mining agriculture construction, manufacturing, tourism.
9000 jobs were created, 36 percent more than the same period last year.
On behalf of the government the statement by the opposition is not correct adding that Zambia is not being shunned for investment. Our friends have the Luxury of making statements without figures …we don’t have that luxury, we as government will give you the figures as they are.” She stated.