In 2011 the people of Zambia turned up in huge numbers to vote for the Patriotic Front because the party presented an attractive programme of action otherwise called the manifesto. We promised lower taxes, more jobs and more money in people’s pockets.
We took over power from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) which had been in government for 20 consecutive years. Hence it took a bit of time for us to settle in government. Once we settled down under the visionary leadership of late President Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, we embarked on an ambitious programme of transforming Zambia and improving the lives of our people in line with what we promised.
Unfortunately our leader left us. Some people argued that PF had died with our leader. They didn’t know that God had already anointed somebody to continue with the vision of our Founding President. And so when Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu campaigned ahead of the January 2015 presidential election he made it clear that he was not going to abandon the vision of late President Michael Chilufya Sata. President Lungu didn’t lie. He has continued with the vision of President Sata. So those who got worried that their road wouldn’t be done are today celebrating. Those who thought they would continue carrying their wives on bicycles to far health centres to deliver are now happy to have a modern health post near them with a brand new Toyota Landcruiser ambulance. Those who thought their university wouldn’t be completed are now happy that their children can go to a university a stone throw away. The youth who thought they would never have a chance to be employed are happy that the new leader has continued to create jobs for them and building skills training colleges. The list is endless.
So when our people look back at where we started from they have no doubt about the commitment of PF to transform Zambia. Our people have seen hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, irrigation dams, youth skills training centres to mention but a few, coming up everywhere in our country. Our people have seen feeder roads worked on, major roads rehabilitated and new roads built to link Zambia. Our people have seen new districts coming up and changing their communities.
If I should talk about all the good things PF has been doing I would need more than one full day to itemise the elements of our success story.
Even under serious economic challenges sparked by global factors and adverse weather conditions PF has continued to make progress in building the Zambia we promised our people and the future looks good.
And yesterday our party under the wise and humble leadership of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu delivered the people driven Republican Constitution that had eluded us for many years. No one will change the historical fact that President Lungu was the midwife of the long awaited supreme law of our land. Credit goes to all Zambians and well-meaning political parties that supported the process. MMD deserves special mention on this matter.
As such, we wish to add our voice to millions of Zambians across the country who have been commending President Lungu for the bold and patriotic step he took yesterday to give our people the constitution they have always wanted.
Given the above scenario, the opposition has found itself stranded and short of what to use against PF and our Jubilee President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu who has earned the nickname of “Mr Walk the Talk”.
Hence, the opposition and their agents have nothing credible to help them incite people to rise against the PF government. As such, they have resorted to shameless lies, misinformation and malicious propaganda.
So our committee has a pivotal role to play in ensuring that Zambians get the right information about what they have achieved with their PF led government. Moreover, our people need to get a credible and non-partisan analysis of what our country has been going through for the last one and half years due to negative global economic factors.
Nevertheless, it is not my intention to say that we need to help Zambians appreciate the development that the PF government has been delivering. The reality is that people are aware of the unprecedented social and economic development PF has delivered. It is not in a vacuum that we have been building hospitals, schools, universities, irrigation dams, roads etc but where the people live. Therefore we shall not allow anyone to mislead unsuspecting members of the public that PF has done nothing.
It is therefore the duty of our committee to neutralise the poison of some opposition parties and continue to champion a message of hope to our people.
We have taken note that some media organisations in our country have decided to support a particular presidential candidate and party. We challenge such media organisations to come out in the open and tell the truth so that people can know how to deal with their messages.
We demand professionalism and upholding of media ethics from all media houses as we approach the period of elections this year.
On our part we promise to do everything within our means to ensure that journalist operate in an environment free of intimidation and violence. We condemn violence against media practitioners and we urge the police to arrest perpetrators of such violence regardless of political affiliation.
Finally, I wish to announce that we will soon embark on a nationwide project of decentralising our Information Committee as part of building an effective communication system ahead of the general election on August 11, 2016.
God bless Zambia.
I thank you.
MCC Frank Bwalya