President Haikande Hichilema has said that the government has made positive strides in the application of the National Values and Principles.
The head of State says the government has also intensified the implementation process of the National Alcohol Policy as a way of addressing Alcohol and substance abuse.
Speaking during the State of the National Address (SONA) on the progress made in the application of the National Values and Principles in Parliament today, Mr Hichilema stated that 523,973 citizens have been sensitised on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse compared to 217,234 in 2021.
The Head of State pointed out that the government has continued to provide rehabilitation services to citizens who abuse alcohol and other drugs.
President Hichilema indicated that rehabilitation services were provided to 1,212 citizens in 2022 compared to 810 in 2021.
He added that going forward government will enhance the implementation of the National Alcohol Policy and that various stakeholders can also come on board to help curb the vice.
“Government will also continue to vigorously pursue the suppliers of illicit drugs which have contributed to the breaking down of the moral fabric of our society,” said the President.
He also indicated that government has passed the anti-human trafficking act of 2022 and has strengthened the border controls to curb human trafficking and smuggling which has become a moral concern to the country.
He pointed out that the government has continued to intercept illegal migrants with the assistance of some of the citizens who have continued to enter and leave the country.
“We have also noted with dismay that some of our people are harbouring illegal immigrants. To prevent these vices government has passed the anti-human trafficking amendment act 2022,” said the President
“We are also strengthening our border controls and for the first time in the history of our country we are employing border guards for effective management and security,” he said.
And the President urged the citizens to use National Values and Principles as well as cultural heritage as yardsticks of expressing themselves especially on social media.
Mr Hichilema said that social media and the internet have increasingly become a part of everyone’s daily lives and interactions.
He, however, observed that the abuse of social media has continued to be a vehicle to drive hate speech and divisive sentiments by some citizens.
“Social media is also being used to defraud unsuspecting users as well as broadcast indecent material,” noted Mr Hichilema.
We call upon our citizens to use social media to foster economic and social development,” he said.
The head of State also added that the government has provided 25,000 mattresses, 50,000 blankets and made 12,000 bunk to address the inhumane living conditions of inmates in correctional facilities.
He noted with concern that the Correctional Facilities were over- crowded and outbreaks of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and scabies were common among inmates.
“The beds and mattresses will ensure human dignity of the inmates,”he said.