Copperbelt Minister Elisha Matambo on Wednesday morning led selected former freedom fighters and other citizens in commemorating African Freedom Day in Ndola.
Mr. Matambo presided over the ceremony also attended by officers from the armed defence forces in the Ndola Central Business District.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the commemoration, Mr. Matambo underscored the 2022 Africa Freedom Day theme: ‘Leveraging our national resources to boost food security’.
Mr. Matambo pledged the Government’s commitment to prioritising food security to sustain Zambia.
The Copperbelt Minister said the New Dawn Government will sustain small scale farmers as they produce more food than they have been producing before.
Mr. Matambo said small scale farmers are key partners in achieving a healthy national food security for the nation.
“I think the tone has already been set by President Hakainde Hichilema. He is saying in order to achieve food security farmers will this year collect affordable fertilizer in good time. This shows the importance of agriculture to the nation. President Hakainde Hichilema has already set the tone. You saw him coming to officiate at the Agriculture Field Day organised by the Zambia National Farmers Union and yesterday I am sure you saw him having a meeting with fertiliser suppliers so that farmers can have access to fertiliser at reasonable prices. So I think as a province first we can commend the President for showing the whole country how important agriculture is so that we can have good harvest going forward. So as a province I think we are also encouraging small scale farmers like we were in Lufwanyama last week, we want them to do more than they have been doing in the past,” he said.
“We also want to promise the farmers that they should not get discouraged to go in the field to do their best in terms of playing maize or other crops because we are determined to give them good prices just like President Hakainde Hichilema is saying. I also want to encourage farmers not to rush to sell maize to these business men. We don’t even know where they come from. They usually deceive farmers with lower prices. So we want them to be patient so that they can sell their maize and other crops at reasonable prices through FRA (Food Reserve Agency) and other agencies that offer reasonable prices.
Zambia United National Freedom Fighters Association representative Isaac Chileshe said Africa has not yet attained complete economic freedom due to greediness among its leaders.
Mr. Chileshe said by now Africa would have had a common market for all countries had leaders been selfless
“African political leaders should eradicate greediness when they assume leadership roles. By now, Africa should have had a common market for us,” Mr. Chileshe said.
Earlier in his sermon, Zambia Police chaplain Floyd Chinyanta said the nation should preserve resources for future generations.
He said the nation should not waste national resources for the future generation to benefit.
“We should be good stewards of our resources. We should be hard working people that are ready to produce. People that will enhance the farming sector of our country that we help farmers come on board and be able to produce enough not only to feed us this year but to feed us even in the years to come when the rains are not adequately pouring. We should develop proper storage systems for this nation that once we have a bumpy harvest we take care of the grains, we take care of the produce and that we should have preserves such that as we exploit resources we also look at the reservation for future use because we are not the only people that are here. God willingly if Christ doesn’t come there are future generations to come, so let us be mindful of these people coming,” Chaplain Chinyata preached.