The government has scored landmark achievements to improve the lives of the Zambian people during the seven months the United Party for National Development (UPND) administration has been in office.
Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary, Kennedy Kalunga, said key among the milestone achievements include the promotion of a united and peaceful Zambia in which President Hakainde Hichilema has ensured that appointments to his Cabinet, are reflective of all the 10 provinces of the country.
“Through this and other measures, the “One Zambia One Nation” motto that has bound us together since independence, is once again becoming a reality where all Zambians have an equal say and stake in the affairs of the country,” Mr. Kalunga said.
According to a press statement issued by the Press and Media Relations Unit at the Ministry of Information and Media in Lusaka this evening, Mr. Kalunga said this when he made a presentation during a stakeholder meeting organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in conjunction with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Chisamba today.
Mr. Kalunga added that the people of Zambia envisioned a better and prosperous Zambia when they overwhelmingly voted for the UPND and President Hichilema in the August 12, 2021 general elections.
“As we meet here today, I am delighted to share some of the milestones that the government has achieved since coming into office seven months ago,” said Mr Kalunga in his presentation titled “New Dawn Government Milestones so Far.”
He has since commended the CPD and the FES for convening the meeting which brought together various stakeholders, among them, representatives of civil society organisations, academia and other eminent persons.
He added that the initiative was in line with the government’s ‘servant leadership’ in which the voice of the citizens is paramount in the governance of the country.
“This is an inclusive and listening government. As such, much as I am here to make a presentation on the milestones that government has achieved so far, in essence, I am here to do more listening than talking in order to hear the views of stakeholders on the distance that we have so far covered as a country under the New Dawn Government,” he said.
Mr Kalunga further stated that during the past seven months, the UPND government has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to the rule of law by freeing the governance and oversight institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) from political interference and instruction.
He said during the seven months that the UPND administration has been in office, the government has ensured that there is no more police harassment against citizens who hold divergent views from those of the party in power.
He further said government has also ensured that there are no arrests without investigation adding that there is no unwarranted use of teargas or excessive force by police against citizens.
On procurement, the Permanent Secretary said government has moved swiftly and decisively to seal the leakages in the procurement of goods and services in which colossal sums of money were being lost through inflated prices and unsatisfactory works.
“During the seven months in office, President Hichilema has personally held meetings with Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and other senior government officials to orient them on the need to protect public resources by ensuring that all goods and services procured by government are within the right cost, quality and delivered on time,” he said.
Mr. Kalunga also underscored government’s achievements in depolitising markets and bus stations which it has since handed back to councils as the rightful authorities to run them.
“The markets are now open to everyone to do business regardless of political affiliation,” he said.
Turning to the 2022 national budget, Mr. Kalunga noted that the implementation of some of the key provisions in the budget such as the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), recruitment of over 40,000 workers in the health and education sectors and free education, was firmly underway.
He said this is a translation of government’s promises to the people of Zambia.
The Permanent Secretary further stated that during the seven months in office, the UPND government has also freed the media so that it sets its own reportorial and editorial agenda.
“From these and other achievements, it is clear that the UPND government, under the leadership of His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema, has hit the ground running in delivering development to the people of Zambia in line with its campaign promises,” he said.
Mr. Kalunga however said despite these achievements, government was under no illusion that the road ahead will be smooth.
“The country still faces serious economic challenges caused mainly by high indebtedness, resulting from heavy borrowing during the previous regime,” he said.
He concluded that government was nevertheless not leaving any stone unturned to recover, repair and revive the economy for the betterment of the Zambian people.