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Monday, October 4, 2021

Actionaid Zambia Reflections on President Hakainde Hichilema Inaugural Speech

Columns Actionaid Zambia Reflections on President Hakainde Hichilema Inaugural Speech

By Nalucha Nganga Ziba Country Director, ActionAid Zambia

As Action Aid Zambia, we are delighted the newly elected government has considered the following under the need for Natural Resource Governance and Climate Change. The inaugural speech by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema highlighted several critical areas giving hope to the future of the Zambian society as noted below:

Zero tolerance to corruption

We welcome the commitment of the President and his government to zero tolerance for corruption. There cannot be true and sustainable political and socio-economic emancipation for the country in the presence of corruption. Corruption is not just a development issue but also a social issue as it aggravates inequality and injustice and undermines stability. Envisioning to attain a just Zambia and economic development with high corrupt levels is a far-fetched dream. We take into recognition that the president indicates his commitment to prudent and effective utilization of public resources. As such, the new government should have a two-pronged approach to the fight against corruption. Firstly, it should strengthen the institutional and technical capacity of law enforcement agencies to do their work and ensure that all allegations of corruption, are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted where tangible evidence is available. Secondly the government should place a premium on corruption prevention by undertaking reforms to seal all loopholes both in the public and private sector which hitherto have been exploited by corrupt persons. This will entail a detailed systems audits as well as organisational assessment. Further, legal reform will be necessary to strengthen and domesticate all anti-corruption laws in line with the international and regional conventions.

Public Debt

We have noted that the President has acknowledged that public debt remains a big challenge that has negatively affected the national budget as half of the national budget goes to debt servicing therefore reducing the country’s ability to invest in production and provision of public services. ActionAid Zambia is therefore calling on the new government to undertake a vigorous public debt audit to establish the scale and nature of our public debt. The new government should urgently call for a multi-sector public debt indaba to discuss possible solutions to our current public debt problem. They must also commit to greater public debt transparency especially regarding Zambia Chinese loans which remain opaque. We also expect the new government to commit to the reforms and/or amendment of the public debt legal framework like the Loans and Guarantees Authorization Act and other related legislations to improve Zambia’s primary legislation. This will improve transparency and accountability and hence limiting the current debt problem which is crowding out public service financing.

Rule of law, servant leadership and democracy

We also welcome the commitment of the President to servant leadership, upholding the rule of law, and respecting and safeguarding of human rights and democratic principles. This is key in the promotion of order as well as transparency and accountability. Additionally, rule of law will discourage the engagement of young people in negative political practices such as perpetrating electoral violence which was becoming a norm in our society. Respect of the rule of law, safeguarding of human rights and democratic principles are also key in attracting and securing of both local and international investment as we undertake the path of economic recovery. The UPND needs to develop a governance and accountability reform process to address multiple issues to successfully achieve a clean and effective government. The commitment to govern the country based on the rule of law is key as it will allow every citizen to participate in the governance of the country effectively without fear of being victimized by the political opponents. ActionAid Zambia ‘s call is to ensure women and youth are among the members of parliament that will be nominated to promote the inclusivity of the marginalized groups in the governance of the country. ActionAid Zambia further calls on the UPND government to domesticate and ensure that the treaties that are not only signed be ratified through the appropriate national legislature with the aim to promote human rights and liberty among all the Zambian people.

Civic participation and respect for human rights

It is gratifying to note that the UPND was founded on the principle that ensures respect for human rights. This commitment was further emphasized by the President that under his government the UPND and its alliance members will ensure there is clear separation of power among the three arms of government (the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature). Our call as ActionAid Zambia is that UPND government and its alliance members will show commitment to further strengthen the judiciary to allow them to conduct their mandate effectively without due influence from the Executive and political power. While ActionAid Zambia notes that the incoming government has also shown commitment to ensure the impendence of the state institution to carry out its mandate, we call on the government ensure the appointment modality of commission is further strengthen allow these commissioners from the different state institution work effectively.

As promoters of social justice, we further welcome the President’s commitment to the promotion of the freedom of press. This is a commitment to the promotion of citizens democratic right for citizens to freely express against social injustices and engagements on social accountability with elected leaders and also promises to review and amend regressive laws such as the Public Order Act and Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act.

Call for peace, inclusion and unity

The values on peace and unity are key in taking the country from one level to another, there high correlation between economic growth and peace and unity. This even more important especially that in recent times Zambia has seen an increase in hate speech, tribalism, regionalism and pockets of violence. The President declared that sanity would be restored and ruling people on political grounds will not be tolerated. He declared that the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ slogan shall be our way of life regardless of race and ethnicity and that there would be no tolerance for exclusion and differences in tribe will never be used for political mileage. He stated that diversity would be reflected in the soon to be announced Cabinet and there would be no selectivity of development based on regionalism; there are more issues in the country that unite us than divide us. The President recognized the significant role played by young people in the elections which is a positive as young people of Zambia have been striving for recognition as key players in the political, economic and social development of Zambia. This affirmation is a positive as it signifies the president and his government promise/dedication to youth inclusion and participation with youth being the largest demographic dividend currently and indeed their contribution signifies increased players in development. The President also recognized the high levels of youth unemployment and that it was on top of the government agenda and thus will be aggressively address creation of jobs for all citizens, especially young people. This we welcome and look forward to as it promotes economic justice and equal distribution of resources to the citizens and will remove the erosion of income from the few to the masses as well as support Gender Responsive Public Services.

Economic management

We recognize the commitment to restoring macro-economic stability and promoting growth of the economy by specifically paying special attention to lowering the fiscal deficit, reducing public debt and restoring social and market confidence. The President also recognizes key specific sectors for growth and reducing poverty such as agriculture, mining, energy, financial services, tourism, technology, health and education. We look forward to seeing policy and legal reforms that will be undertaken by the government in the above respective sectors in the quest to restore macro-economic stability and growth. We equally look forward to the pronounced local ownership and participation by locals in the mining sector. We welcome as it promotes alternatives to employment especially for the young people who are mostly in the formal sector. We look forward to see the new government investment policy in the above sectors accordingly and equitable outcomes such as enhanced gender responsive services. Furthermore, we expect that the President and his government to prioritize investment in the agriculture sector as the next best sector after mining in achieving economic growth. We agree with the President that agriculture production must be enhanced by adequate provisions of agricultural extension and research services, market access, value addition and lowering the cost of inputs. Additionally, as one of the key sectors to Zambia’ economy and largest contributor Zambia’s foreign reserve the current challenges, government/Investor standstills and inefficiencies must also be addressed in the mining sector. We expect the new government to initiate a stable tax regime and mining policies.

Climate Change Mitigation Measures

ActionAid Zambia is expectant that the new leadership will consider and execute strengthening institutions such as the Disaster Mitigation Unit and Humanitarian efforts from the dire and negative impact’s climate change has had on the Zambian people whose livelihoods solely depend on Natural Resources. This can be attained by finally passing the climate change bill as law to provide legal framework on addressing the negative impacts of climate change.

Build a green economy

This will help environmental efforts aimed at reducing environmental risks which Zambia has faced from the degazetting of forest reserves for mining and commercial activities in Protected Areas and Game Management Reserves. The roadmap for Zambia towards a green economy will protect it from ecological scarcities and ensuring sustainable development without degrading the environment. We expect this to be highlighted by sustainable mining practices from the extractive sector and creation of green jobs is expected for the Zambian youths.

Environmental Sustainability

ActionAid Zambia has noticed the need to strengthen institutions and increase manpower of the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) which will allow the extensive and independent execution of its role to the responsibility of conserving Zambia’s vast natural resources and protect its endangered ecosystems that support the vulnerable livelihoods, health, and wellbeing, from now and in the future. The need for transparency as well in its EIA processes will have to be fair and transparent to the public. The newly elected government is expected to clearly demonstrate and adhere to a clear policy road map for increased budget allocations towards environmental protection, recreation, tourism and disaster mitigation and management above 1% of the annual budgetary allocation.

Land Resource Management

We acknowledge the President address on the issue of policy direction to be in place concerning a transparent policy framework in land administration and management. This is a great move as this will promote equitable access to land for all citizens and with the potential of enhancing women’s Land rights as well. It is our expectation that women and youths shall be at the centre stage to own property at a tender age through government support.

Agriculture support and extension services

Support towards agriculture extension services is a welcomed move as it will boost Zambia’s agriculture production considering that 70 % of farmer producers are found in rural areas where 80 % are engaged in agriculture. Our expectation on this is the recruitment of more agriculture extension officers that will increase agriculture efficiency and food security in the agriculture value chain. Zambian have for a long time yearned for lower the cost of agriculture production, increase market access within Zambia and beyond borders
, enhance value addition will make Zambia more competitive against other products in the region.

As we wait for announcement of the new government, the president should think of how he will fully embrace the youth, be inclusive and ensure that Zambia’s development and growth trajectory is anchored on a strong intergenerational consensus. As Action Aid Zambia, we are open and keen to partner the new government in taking the country forward and address the most pressing challenges that the nation faces. In conclusion we would like to congratulate Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and Madam Mutale Nalumango once again on their election and ascendancy of the Presidency and Vice Presidency of this country respectively. We look forward to their socioeconomic policies that will prioritize poverty eradication and ending socioeconomic injustices.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Easier said than done…blah blah blah blah Forward Forward Forwarded still no Cabinet…and you called Lungu a Lazy bum…HH seem to be confused and he has no clue on how to govern…experiments and the youths are hungry…cement still K145 in Livingstone…..Zambians you’ve been duped

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  2. HEHH will do it , I have the utmost confidence, Zambia is going forward.

    6 months down the line , we will see results.

    # 3  Saulosi,

    looks like you are stuck with crooks in your mind from supporting lungu……not everyone is a crook….

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  3. Saulosi – You think selecting a cabinet is as easy as just picking fellow drunkards like Aunty Dizzy from your phonebook like your former leader LAZY LUNGU was doing? Or nominate the likes of Raphael from the opposition for the sole purpose of destroying MMD? You have been so customised to mediocrity and myopia by the previous govt that you think someone who is meticulous is wasting time. I mean how do you explain the appointment of a Agriculture diploma holder Given Lubinda being appointed Justice Minster? The list of shambolic appointments is limitless…I feel embarrassed for you that you even brought this up….a President who was nominating the likes of Mumbi Phiri to just seat in National Assembly. Appointing the likes of Jean Kapata and that other useless Labour Minister lady just…

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  4. CONT’D – a President who was nominating the likes of Mumbi Phiri to just seat in National Assembly. Appointing the likes of Jean Kapata and that other useless Labour Minister lady just because they are vocal at PF Rallies.

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  5. Release your pain through your complaints it is therapeutic , its all part of the stages of grief. It is totally understood for those in mourning. Let it out my brother, let it all out. The tears are obstructing you from seeing the sense in the speech or what Action Aid have raised. With all your repression and oppression you failed to pin your false accusations on him even with full abusive control of ZP, OP, DEC, and ACC today ati crooked, LOL. The free house in Kabulonga is still there go and claim it. President HH is only 4 days office, drink some water and watch leadership unfold. To dis-engage auto pilot and go manual is something that doesn’t happen overnight fellow citizen. Lets meet here 1 month from now and discuss the changes when the framework is set. Why is it all suddenly…

  6. YES I CALLED EDGAR LUNGU LAZY and he was an extremely workshy empty suit…I can be here whole day giving examples from holidays he declared in just 2021 to the dreaded working visits/ international visits/ hiring of whole aircrafts to fly to NY/ No Press conferences etc

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  7. In 7 years LAZY LUNGU was in govt NEVER had he come close to even attempting to read a speech like this and you are here saying these are just words to a President who has been in govt for less than 14 days.

    FYI I am not a member of UPND or affiliated to any political party ….I just want the best for my country ZAMBIA!!

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  8. @Tarino Orange
    Ooh ok now you’ve just realized that selecting a cabinet is not easy…but remember how you used to insult Lungu…everything that Lungu was not good enough for spaka and Tarino…double standards and no wonder we don’t develop…you just hated Lungu probably because of where he comes from and you like HH just because he is your fellow bantu botatwe

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  9. FYI if you want to track this govt’s performance use is website called Trading Economics…I am surprised you are still talking about LAZY LUNGU AND HIS INEPT LEADERSHIP.
    YOU ARE NOW SCARPPING THE BOTTOM OF THE BARRELL …PLEASE don’t use the tribalism tag I was brought up in an era where we didnt need to know what somebody’s surname was and attended school in places LAZY LUNGU claims to be from.

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  10. FYI if you want to track this govt’s performance use is web-site called Trading Economics…I am surprised you are still talking about LAZY LUNGU AND HIS INEPT LEADERSHIP.
    YOU ARE NOW SCARPPING THE BOTTOM OF THE BARRELL …PLEASE don’t use the tribalism tag I was brought up in an era where we didnt need to know what somebody’s surname was and attended school in places LAZY LUNGU claims to be from.

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  11. FYI if you want to track this govt’s performance use is web-site called Trading Economics…I am surprised you are still talking about LAZY LUNGU AND HIS INEPT LEADERSHIP.
    YOU ARE NOW SCARPPING THE BOTTOM OF THE BARRELL …PLEASE don’t use the triba-lism tag I was brought up in an era where we didnt need to know what somebody’s surname was and attended school in places LAZY LUNGU claims to be from.

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  12. Saulosi – You dont develop because you placed LAZY LUNGU in that position when he has ZERO leadership qualities….I mean what will he be remembered for? LAZY LUNGU is no more I have no time to talk about useless characters

  13. Hahahaha Tarino Orange..in 7 years Lungu this…in 7 years Lungu that…now you have your so called fake messiah the gloved one…why don’t you concentrate on him…and by the way can someone please tell HH that gloves are very inhygienic unless they’re disposable and he has to disposable them carefully every time he touches somethin….the only best way to keep his hands clean is to wash them regularly with soup and water…says Dr Saulosi….now we have a President who doesn’t know what gloves are for he thinks they’re decorations

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  14. After HH is done fixing the economy and consequently setting the standard high up for would be leaders to emulate, Neanderthal political parties like UNIP, MMD and PF will find it impossible to compete in an environment that demands absolute professional standards. There presence will be exactly like a lingering stench of Ichisushi. Better for them to pack their political tents and do a lot of us a favor and just fade away. They are not wanted.

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  15. Hihihihi Tarino Orange you’re running out of breath just admit this is not what you were expecting from HH….remember losers are watching him close and regrouping…and they will pounce on him hard in the next elections…Harry Kalaba might do the trick

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  16. Hihihihi Tarino Orange you’re running out of breath just admit this is not what you were expecting from HH….remember losers are watching him close and regrouping…and they will pounce on him hard in the next elections…Harry Kalaba might do the trick..

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  17. @Tarino orange
    come on man lets be real…am not bringing up talk for nothing,,,but the hard truth is 99% of Tongas like and voted for HH because of his tribe..numbers dont lie……its just like racism here in America it will never end because People like Tarino refuse to talk about it….Tongas should learn to embrace other tribes,,,all tribes voted for Lungu in reasonable number only our friends in the South..and now they’re even to criticize one of their own

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  18. #19  Saulosi
     August 29, 2021 At 1:19 pm

    “Hihihihi Tarino Orange you’re running out of breath just admit this is not what you were expecting from HH……..”

    Look at them , as Tarino says HEHH has not yet been 1 month in GRZ , already looking for free handouts ………

    the “free money in your pockets ”
    slogan you are used too died with PF , badala…

    Watch and learn how carefull meticulous planning works…..

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  19. Saulosi – You are now just being vexatious and barking aimlessly on the wrong tree…let me tell you here and now that I am no drumbeater for Hakainde so if he doesn’t deliver I will be the first one to call him. As for that talk about tribalism you will not bait me with that claptrap just like the people of Zambia refused to buy in into it during campaigns when PF were parading BUFFOON CK and Fat Albert GBM.

    Anyway its good to have you back on LT at least we can have some banter instead of reducing the thread to insults and name-calling!!

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  20. Spaka – They think running a govt is about hallucinating about creating a million jobs when you have zero polices to back it and are relying on the Chinks to employ your own citizens as slaves doing casual work.
    My advice to HH critics is listen to his speeches from start to finish not the sound bites our lazy media puts out…they too have to pull up their socks.

  21. Really laughable you think Harry Kalaba will be influential I hope he is for the sake of democracy…Hamududu has a better chance of being up there than Kalaba who is on a wrong strategy and simply wasting the money he gets from his Christian bosses in Malawi and around the world. He couldn’t even manage one vote or a body in Parliament.

  22. We want actions. Words are words and may mean nothing, unless actions follow. By the way did the president say anything about repealing the Public Order Act, Cyber Act?

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