President Lungu’s twelfth national assembly address

1

Mr. Speaker,

1.

I am delighted to join you and the honourable members of parliament in this august house today.

2. Our constitution under article 9(2) demands that, once each year, the president of the Republic of Zambia presents to this august house a report on the progress made in the application of our national values and principles. By extension, this constitutional provision entails that this house and the whole nation take time to reflect on our national values and principles.

Mr. Speaker,

3. This is the second address that I am making in this august house on the application of national values and principles. The first address, which I delivered on 17th March, 2017, essentially introduced in detail our national values and principles.

4. The focus of this address, therefore, is to report, through this august house, on the progress made so far and measures taken to build a strong foundation for the application of our national values and principles.

Mr. Speaker,

5.before I proceed with my address, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome the newly nominated member of parliament of the patriotic front, honourable Mumbi Phiri, to this august house. Let me also congratulate Mrs. Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe on her appointment as clerk of the national assembly.

6. These appointments demonstrate government’s continued commitment to gender equality at all levels of decision making. I am confident that the two will serve the people of Zambiaa diligently in their respective capacities.

mr. Speaker,

7. It has been a year since I came before this august house to articulate the national values and principles, upon which our identity and practices should be anchored.
These national values and principles are outlined in article 8 of the constitution as follows:

(a) morality and ethics;
(b) patriotism and national unity;
(c) democracy and constitutionalism;
(d) human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination;
(e) good governance and integrity; and (f) sustainable development.

Mr. Speaker,

8.the application of the national values and principles is firmly anchored in our conviction, belief and acknowledgment of the supremacy of god in the affairs of our nation. As contained in the preamble to 3 our constitution, the people of zambia have declared our republic as a christian nation, while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion. The operationalisation of this declaration is reflected in the manner in which we interpret and apply our national values and principles.

9.it is important to note that the application of the national values and principles is not a matter for government alone. It is a responsibility of every citizen, family, community, institution, whether private or public, and the zambian society at large.

Mr. Speaker,

10. I will now proceed to outline the measures government has taken and report the progress made in applying each of these values and principles. Morality and ethics 4 mr.

Speaker,

11. Inculcating morally upright and ethical behaviour in our citizens and getting them to live a positive value-centred life remains a priority of government.

12. Consequently, government is committed to ensuring that our country and its people are morally and ethically upright as a requirement for national development. However, we have observed, with great concern that our morals have deteriorated over time. This is evidenced by the high prevalence of teen pregnancies and early marriages. We have also witnessed the growing trend in the misapplication of public funds, and abuse of social media. Of equal concern is alcohol and substance abuse as well as poor work culture, among others.

13. We need to act. We need to act now. We need to act together. If we do not act to redress this trend, we risk losing our moral values and ethics completely.

Mr. Speaker,

14. I am pleased to inform this august house that we have started laying the ground for promoting good morals and ethics among our citizens. In the public sector, government has developed codes of ethics to regulate the conduct and behaviour of public service officers. For example, the code of ethics for teachers is now in place and is regulating the conduct and behaviour of those in the teaching profession. Morally upright teachers who are role models to the learners will, no doubt, produce disciplined pupils, with high moral standards and ethical values.

15. In addition, government has developed the public officers ethics bill and state officers bill. These bills, once enacted, will strengthen the legal framework for guiding the scope, implementation and enforcement of morals and ethics among public and state officers. This will also ensure that public and 6 state officers are held accountable and are above board in the conduct of the affairs of the state.

Mr. Speaker,

16. To further enhance good morals and ethics, government has developed a single vision for the public service which is “a smart and value-centred public service”. The vision will serve to motivate and galvanise public service officers in their observance of our national values and principles in service delivery.

17. I also wish to acknowledge and take cognizance of all other stakeholders outside government that have developed codes of conduct in their respective institutions to promote ethical behaviour.

Mr. Speaker,

18. Alcohol and substance abuse is an area of great concern affecting the moral standards of our 7 people. We are aware that when the youth are not involved in any productive activity, they tend to resort to alcohol abuse and other vices. Government is, therefore, making progress in strengthening the enforcement of the relevant laws and regulations to curb this vice.

19. In order to address the issue of inactivity among the youths, government has intensified the implementation of youth empowerment programmes aimed at equipping the youth with skills, equipment and start-up capital for income generating activities.

20. Notable achievements under this programme in 2017, included supporting 2,667 youth street vendors with loans, empowering 1,000 youths with motorised cargo tricycles, and provision of information and communication technology equipment for the establishment of business centres to 600 youths, across the country.

Mr. Speaker,

21. Issues of morality are also being addressed in the sporting fraternity. I am glad to inform this august house that government is implementing the anti-doping programme. The programme is aimed at sensitising athletes, sports administrators, coaches, physical education teachers and the youth against taking performance enhancing substances and on the dangers of doping in sport.

22. Through this programme, training in anti- doping has been conducted in five provinces, where 5,400 individuals were trained.

Mr. Speaker,

23. To end child marriage in zambia, government is implementing a five-year national strategy on ending child marriage targeting to achieve a 40 percent reduction by 2021. The strategy takes into consideration the causes and consequences of 9 harmful traditional practices that encourage early marriages.

24. To expedite the roll-out and acceptance of this intervention, government is working with traditional leaders who are the custodians of customs and traditions.
This is with a view to making our traditional leaders key agents of change in their respective chiefdoms. To this effect, 80 chiefs and 84 headmen were oriented on the harmful effects of early marriages and teenage pregnancies in 2017.

Mr. Speaker,

25. Going forward, it is the duty of everyone to play their part in imparting high moral standards and conducting ourselves in an ethical manner, both in our private and public life.

Patriotism and national unity mr. Speaker,

26. Patriotism and national unity are a cornerstone for socio-economic development. They are the greatest heritage our founding fathers and mothers bequeathed to us. Throughout the struggle for independence, these patriots demonstrated abiding love and commitment towards each other and the nation. This is the spirit with which they started the task of nation-building.

27. It is gratifying to note that the same spirit of patriotism and national unity is being demonstrated by many of our citizens. Recently, citizens came from a cross section of society, irrespective of status, to help combat cholera. This positive gesture helped government to stem-off the spread of the disease.

28. I, therefore, commend all those who took time to participate in the cleaning up of our cities and towns, or made financial and material donations 11 at individual or corporate level towards this cause. Let us continue with this spirit.

Mr. Speaker,

29. To promote patriotism and national unity, government is undertaking sensitisation programmes. Among these are programmes aimed at ensuring that our citizens appreciate and respect our national symbols and emblems, which are the national flag, national anthem, the coat of arms, public seal, and the national motto.

30. For instance, it is mandatory to sing the national anthem in full at all official gatherings and in learning institutions. Therefore, we all need to learn the words of the national anthem and appreciate its meaning as this is a primary symbol of our patriotism.

31. To promote zambia’s identity I urge all institutions to display indiginous artifacts both at home and abroad. I therefore direct the 12 minstries of traditional affairs, tourism and foreign afairs to take this role.

32. Further, government, through the zambia national broadcasting corporation, has introduced a television programme on national values and principles to ensure that citizens begin to understand, appreciate and apply patriotism and the rest of our national values and principles. I urge all citizens to take time to watch these educative programmes on our national broadcaster.

Mr. Speaker,

33. Another way of demonstrating patriotism is through buying zambian products. This encourages the growth of our local industries and, thereby, creating the much needed jobs for our people and ultimately fostering socio-economic development. To achieve this goal, our local industries need to improve on the quality and branding of products to meet international standards. Let us strengthen the campaign on buying zambian products. Let us aim to 13 buy zambian products. Let us be proud to buy zambian products.

34. In addition, patriotism demands that we pay particular attention to how we use our natural resources for both current and future generations. These resources include land, minerals, water bodies and wildlife. We have a duty to protect and harness these resources in a sustainable manner.

Mr. Speaker,

35. We as political leaders must take a lead in fostering patriotism and national unity. In fact, we must play a pivotal role. We must continue working together to build our nation by championing politics that unite us all and leave a worthwhile legacy for future generations to follow.

36. I recall with a sense of inspiration that in november, 2006, dr. Kenneth david kaunda, the founding father of this nation, was invited to the united states of america to take part in a programme called “conversations with history” at the 14 university of california institute of international studies in berkeley.

37. During this conversation, dr. Kaunda shared his reflections on politics, and I quote: “if we approach politics as a dirty game, we are very much on the wrong course, because politics is supposed to be an instrument of justice, fair play and good behavior towards fellow human beings… We must understand that our world is one – different tribes, different faiths, but all god’s children. Who are we to say he made you white and, therefore, he was wrong; he made you black, therefore, he was wrong; he made you red, brown, he was wrong… There must be a determination to do what is right and it starts with genuinely loving people.” end of quote.

38. As we reflect on the importance of national unity, dr. Kaunda’s words are as true today as they 15 were then. They will continue to be relevant as we go forward on our journey to build a truly united country under the banner of one zambia one nation.

39. We are one people. Let us all build upon our motto of ‘‘one zambia one nation’’ to foster national unity. The fact that one was born in the east does not make them less zambian than those born in the west; neither are those born in the north nor in the south any less zambian. We are all equal citizens of this country.

Democracy and constitutionalism

Mr. Speaker, 40. Zambia’s multi-party democratic system of government is enshrined in our constitution, which stipulates a range of political mechanisms, including regular elections and competition among political parties and candidates.

Mr. Speaker,

41. To enhance our country’s democratic principles, government developed a political parties bill in 2017 in response to article 60 of the constitution. This bill, once enacted, will provide for the registration and regulation of political parties and require them to uphold the tenets of democracy. The bill is currently undergoing stakeholder consultation after which it will be brought before this house for enactment.

Mr. Speaker,

42. Dialogue among political players is one of the key elements in promoting democracy. Dialogue fosters co-existence, promotes accommodation of divergent views and helps to resolve differences through non-violent means. It is the conviction of government that there cannot be unity without dialogue. In this regard, government remains committed to dialogue to enhance intra- and inter- party democracy in our country.

17 human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination mr. Speaker, 43. The upholding of human dignity remains an ethical, legal, social and political obligation of this government. Every citizen of our country deserves to be respected and treated fairly, regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, religious beliefs or social status.

Mr speaker,

44. Access to shelter is one of the fundamental hallmarks of human dignity. Government is, therefore, working towards providing decent housing, especially for the poor in society. Upgrading of shanty compounds through provision of access roads, electricity, water and other social amenities is progressing well. This facelift can be seen in garden, kalingalinga, kanyama and george compounds, among others, in lusaka. The programme is being 18 rolled out to other towns and districts around the country.

Mr. Speaker,

45. In furtherance of human dignity, government stands firm and unwavering in its quest to end gender-based violence. Government has taken steps to raise awareness amongst our people about the vice and adverse effects of gender-based violence. In 2017 the reported cases of gender-based violence stood at 21,504 against 18,540 cases recorded in 2016.

46. From these figures, we can draw comfort that more people are coming out to report cases that went unreported in the past. The more we report these cases, the more we hope awareness will act as a deterrent to gender-based violence.

Mr. Speaker,

47. Government has, therefore, been implementing a multi-sectoral programme on gender-based violence, 19 in collaboration with the united nations. This programme involves enhancing access to health, legal and social protection services for victims of gender- based violence.

48. Government is also aware of the difficult situations children in homes affected by gender-based violence are facing. Where necessary, these children are being assisted through various child protection programmes.

Mr. Speaker,

49. Our people in various correctional facilities also deserve to be treated with dignity. In this regard, government is reviewing the policy and the legal framework on correctional services with a renewed focus on correction and rehabilitation. The former prisons service has since rebranded and is now the zambia correctional services.

50. In addition, training courses on human rights and the public order act for law enforcement 20 personnel have been incorporated in the zambia police service training curriculum for both pre-service and in-service training programmes. This initiative will help to promote the upholding of human rights.

51. Further, the zambia police service has re- defined its policing and investigative strategies to ensure respect for human dignity. The service is now employing scientific methods of gathering evidence such as the use of dna as opposed to the old methods of forced confessions and witness testimonies that did not have regard for human dignity. These scientific methods will go a long way in ensuring the observance and protection of human rights.

Mr. Speaker,

52. In pursuit of the principle of equality, government is committed to reducing development inequalities by implementing programmes in a manner that recognises the needs of all citizens. These efforts are also, by extension, contributing to non- 21 discrimination and the promotion of social justice for our people.

53. Equal treatment of zambians is fundamental. We are one people and should enjoy equal access to the resources of this country regardless of geographical location, creed, tribe, age or gender.

54. In this regard, government is taking development to all parts of the country as evidenced by the infrastructure development projects being undertaken in all the ten provinces of our country. These include the construction of:

(a) roads in the rural areas to provide a support base for increased economic opportunities in rural areas where poverty is more prevalent;

(b) education facilities to cater for primary, secondary and tertiary levels;

(c) health centres and specialised hospitals;

(d) communication towers; and (e) aviation infrastructure.

22 mr. Speaker,

55. To promote equity, government is undertaking programmes that take into account the peculiar needs and capacities of our people and regions in order to accelerate the realisation of development. We have continued to mainstream environmental endowments, youth, disability and gender in our social and economic development programmes.

56. To address the gender imbalances between boys and girls with regard to access to secondary school education, bursaries are being provided to girls under the girl’s education and women’s empowerment and livelihoods project. So far, 8,669 girls who dropped out of school for various reasons such as lack of financial support, gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy, are being supported with school fees in 16 districts.

57. Government has also been implementing the home-grown school feeding programme. The 23 programme provides meals to the learners from poor and vulnerable households in an effort to encourage enrolment, attendance and concentration in class. In 2017, 1,052,760 learners were supported by the programme in 2,700 community and government schools in 38 districts.

Mr. Speaker,

58. To further promote equity, government is implementing the 20 percent sub-contracting policy for infrastructure projects. So far, an estimated 300 local contractors have benefited from this policy decision. The onus is on our local contractors to do their best and prove that they can equally perform when given an opportunity.

Mr. Speaker,

59. The principle of social justice entails that our people have equal access to opportunities and public resources. Therefore, to promote social justice, government has continued to support improvement and access to safe and clean drinking 24 water in rural areas. In this regard, government has constructed 1,836 and rehabilitated 420 boreholes countrywide.

Mr. Speaker,

60. Government has also continued with the programme of connecting different parts of the country to the national electricity grid. I am glad to report the successful connection of north-western province and lukulu district in western province to the national grid.

61. This is a major milestone in our country’s history, particularly for the people of mwinilunga, mufumbwe, kabompo, manyinga, zambezi, chavuma and lukulu who were not connected to the national grid since independence in 1964. With this connectivity to the national grid, our people are able to engage in more productive economic activities to improve their livelihoods. The development has enabled more people to have access to electricity and is in line with the principle of social justice.

Mr. Speaker,

62. We are making strides to ensure that there is no discrimination in the conduct of our affairs and service delivery. We are building a zambia where everyone has equal access to opportunities and services. We are not leaving anyone behind. Government is, therefore, implementing multi-faceted programmes to develop and empower our youths, persons with disabilities, women, children, orphans and the aged.

63. Currently, 22 youth resource centres are operational across the country where 50 percent gender equality has been achieved in the enrolment. The centres are also gender and disability friendly. At these centres, youths are empowered with vocational and life skills. Further, from the 11 community skills training centres located in 8 provinces, 184 youths were trained in competence based skills in 2017.

26 good governance and integrity mr. Speaker, 64. Government remains committed to upholding the principle of good governance and integrity in line with the constitution. It is through active adherence to the principle of good governance and integrity that government will bring about real, lasting and positive change in the lives of our people.

65. One of the major challenges to good governance and integrity is the issue of corruption. Corruption is a cancer which requires concerted and continuous effort to eliminate. We all have a moral duty and obligation to fight corruption in order to achieve accelerated and all-inclusive development.

Mr. Speaker,

66. Government has continued to build necessary capacities in our governance institutions and other stakeholders for improved outcomes in the fight 27 against corruption. For instance, the establishment of integrity committees in ministries, provinces and other spending agencies in line with provisions of the new anti-corruption act is ongoing. So far, a total of 61 committees have been created and are operational. Work is in progress to improve the functioning of the committees.

67. Equally under implementation is the sensitisation of various stakeholders in public and private institutions as well as the community aimed at promoting integrity and ethical conduct.

Mr. Speaker,

68. Prudent management of public resources is at the core of good governance. It guarantees successful implementation of government policies and programmes as well as the realisation of the much needed development. In this regard, the public financial management bill has been submitted to this august house for consideration.

69. Once enacted, the legislation will, among other things, strengthen the financial regulatory framework and stiffen penalties for perpetrators of financial mismanagement. I call upon all members of this august house to support the passing of this important and progressive bill.

Mr. Speaker,

70. Electronic government, commonly known as e- government, fosters and enhances good governance. Not only does it improve decision making, but also facilitates service delivery and communication between and among various stakeholders. It equally empowers citizens with information necessary to participate in the affairs of the nation and to hold government accountable.

71. In this regard, government has made commendable progress in embracing information and communication technologies in the delivery of public goods and services. Information and communication technologies are being utilised in the management of 29 the public service payroll, administration of tax as well as provision of various social services. The e- cabinet system has also been developed and is fully operational, cutting down on the cost and time required in conducting cabinet business.

Mr. Speaker,

72. The pace at which the private sector is adopting and deploying information and communication technologies is commendable. Increasingly, a number of social and economic transactions are being done through various information and communication technology platforms such as mobile money, mobile banking and marketing platforms on social media.

73. This is a progressive and welcome development. However, I urge our citizens to exercise high levels of integrity and morality when using social media and other information and communication technology platforms.

30 sustainable development mr. Speaker, 74. Sustainable development is about managing our socio-economic environment for both present and future generations. Accordingly, government has prioritised sustainable development in an effort to achieve socio-economic development.

75. Government is aware that climate variability and change has become a major threat to sustainable development in our country. The country is already experiencing climate induced hazards which include drought and dry spells, seasonal and flash floods and extreme temperatures.

76. Some of these hazards, especially droughts and floods, have increased in frequency and intensity over the past few decades. These have adversely impacted food and water security as well as energy and the livelihoods of our people, especially in rural communities.

Mr. Speaker

77. It is important to address the effects of climate change and ensure sustainable development through interventions such as afforestation and reforestation, promotion of conservation farming and promotion of green energy. To this effect, more than 2,500 hectares of forest were planted in luapula and muchinga provinces in 2017.

78. In addition to the efforts we are making to promote sustainable development, there is need for us to address the issue of waste management in the various sectors of our economy. To this effect, we are implementing the first ever national policy on waste management.

79. Further, we have mainstreamed climate change into our development agenda. Consequently, a number of projects and programmes for mitigation and adaptation are being implemented in the forestry, agriculture and energy sectors. Equally, government is promoting agricultural research to mitigate the 32 impact of climate change on small scale farmers through development, adoption and adaptation of appropriate technologies.
Conclusion mr. Speaker, 80. These issues which I have outlined today are only a beginning of the many steps and measures we have to take as a government and a nation to entrench a culture of upholding our national values and principles.

81. As government, we will continue to make deliberate efforts to provide exemplary leadership in upholding our national values and principles. I also call upon the church and other religious organisations, traditional leaders, civil society, the media, political parties, the creative industry, professional bodies and the private sector to equally take a lead in championing the application of our national values and principles.

82. We must forge a better tomorrow. A tomorrow where every zambian will be treated with respect, honour and dignity. A tomorrow where all will put the country before self. A tomorrow where every citizen will be a sworn enemy of corruption, dishonesty and unprincipled living.

Mr. Speaker,

83. A nation without morals is like a ship without a compass. We must, therefore, collectively resolve to strengthen the application of these national values and principles in everything that we do as a country.

84. For the honourable members in this house, it is as much your duty, as it is mine, to live up to these values and principles. Our country expects no less from us, our people demand no less and our future generations deserve no less.
34 85. Let us be morally upright. Let us remain patriotic and united. Let us celebrate our country.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you. May god bless this great republic.

1 COMMENT

  1. A nation without morals is like a ship without a compass. We must, therefore, collectively resolve to strengthen the application of these national values and principles in everything that we do as a country.

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