President Hakainde Hichilema arrived in Southern Province for the festive holiday, landing at Choma’s St Mawagali grounds at approximately 16:00 aboard the Presidential chopper. The President was warmly received by Southern Province UPND Vice Chairman, the Choma Mayor, and other senior government officials.
During his visit, President Hichilema addressed the media and emphasized the importance of responsible journalism and the fight against corruption. He encouraged the media to disseminate accurate information to the public, stressing that freedom of speech should not be mistaken for the license to insult. President Hichilema signed the Access to Information (ATI) law, ending a two-decade wait for its implementation.
“Insulting should not be mistaken for freedom of speech; an insult is an insult, so let’s not abuse the ATI law that has been signed by this government after so many years of being ignored by the previous regime,” remarked President Hichilema.
In response to a journalist’s question about the fight against corruption, President Hichilema stated that the government’s commitment to eradicating corruption would intensify. He highlighted recent amendments to three laws, ensuring expedited handling of corruption cases. President Hichilema emphasized that there would be no room for corrupt individuals to manipulate the legal system, as cases would now be completed within five months.
President Hichilema set the tone for 2024, focusing on opening up the economy, creating more job opportunities, and ensuring equitable participation for all citizens. He pledged to conclude the debt restructuring process in 2024, fostering economic growth and encouraging all Zambians to work diligently and intelligently.
The President also took the opportunity to advise farmers in Southern Province to capitalize on the rainy season to produce sufficient food for the coming year. He emphasized the government’s support for winter maize production, encouraging farmers to utilize harvested rainwater for irrigation.