This morning we held a productive meeting with Her Excellency, the Canadian High Commissioner to Zambia, Ms Pamela O’Donnell, in Lusaka.
We discussed issues of mutual interest to both countries.
Among the issues we discussed was the increasing cost of living as well as the hunger situation that is affecting most parts of the country. We also expressed sincere gratitude to the Canadian government and other cooperating partners whose focus is ensuring food security, respecting human rights and good governance and generally a better society.
Opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says youths in Zambia are capable of creating jobs and help grow the economy.
Mr Hichilema who undertook an impromptu visit around Lusaka on Friday to interact with young people said the youth are an integral part of any nation and their vibrancy steers growth in many areas of human endeavor.
Mr Hichilema said there is so much untapped potential among the youth in the Country that requires harnessing, for the benefit of our communities.
“This is why we will always work with them in order to grow our country’s economy and make lives better for the rest of the citizens. We therefore want to assure each one of them that our government will believe in them and will join hands with them in moving this country forward,” Mr Hichilema said.
“One of the greatest assets that God has blessed us with as a country is our youth but this resource is not fully realised by others because they lack the passion and the vision to do so.”
Mr Hichilema said in order to make the youth achieve their goals and live their dreams to the maximum, the UPND in government will ensure that it provides education for its people.
“Education for all regardless of their backgrounds, jobs for them in order for them to support each other and their families, and lastly but not the least, better conditions of service for all of them. This country’s economy largely depends on many youths who work in the informal sector and their own self initiated projects such as mending shoes, tyres, welding and many other jobs among them a youth selling airtime, a youth who takes up farming in order to raise school fees, and many others looking for an education and job opportunity.”
He added, “Our youths are capable and willing to participate in many economic activities in the country and this is why we will work with them by equipping them with necessary skills and opportunities at an early age.”
“We draw this vision from our own experience of creating self employment at the age of 26 years. We would therefore like to see more of our youths going that direction and then together we can develop this beautiful country. Our vision is that every youth must be supported with business opportunities and credit facilities which would then turn them into employers as opposed to being abused by those who do not value their skills and purpose in life.”
This is what is contained in our party manifesto whose vision is to move Zambia forward and emphatically placing Zambia and Zambians first.
Today we reminded members of the party at the National Management Committee level, to understand our vision for our country and speak in simpler terms in which, each one of our citizens will easily understand.
There is no time to warm chairs anymore when citizens out there are crying over high mealie meal prices, corruption, bad governance and all other detrimental factors to the growth of our country.
We stated that under the UPND government, anyone will be entitled to work for the people as long as they have necessary qualifications and have the integrity to deliver according to the people’s expectations.
But we also stated that no one will be allowed to be a Cabinet Minister if their preoccupation is to enrich themselves above the duties to diligently serve. This is why we insist that we are in politics not to enrich ourselves but to offer a service to the Nation, and as such anyone wishing to get rich out of politics is simply in a wrong field and the UPND government will never entertain such individuals.
During this meeting, we also told our officials in charge of sector areas to speak out on various issues affecting the people and that, this start should immediately because citizens are looking up to them for leadership, and that it must not be about Hakainde Hichilema alone, but all of us as a collective citizenry.
Under the UPND government, land will be for Zambians first and will thereafter endeavor to dutifully encourage joint ventures with those with capital. For instance, in a period of 5 years and thereafter, once our citizens especially the youth and the women have the capacity to stand on their own they will be encouraged to seek joint partnerships and then move to their next area of investment.
Agriculture will be another economic booster and a major source of employment and income for our country. We shall provide more fertilizers to our farmers because the more they produce out of our government’s empowerment schemes, the more we produce cheaper mealie meal and eventually reduce the cost of mealie meal to K50 per 25kg or even less.
Education is an investment and we will ensure that every child including the elderly will have access to quality education through our free education model, and resources for this sector will be raised locally, including cutting down unnecessary expenditures such as a blotted Cabinet with Deputy Ministers. There shall be no luxury travels for top government officials, corruption will be fought vigorously while we will enhance government owned industrial activities to boost our revenue base.
Quiet often, our mothers and citizens out there face numerous health problems, but when in government this will be a thing of the past because we will take clinics, hospitals closer to them but more so medicines.
This is because a structure without medicines and health providers is tantamount to corruption as is the case now under the PF regime.
There will be more business opportunities for all and to a large extent supported by our government, eventually this will be leading to job creation.
UPND remains optimistic that in order for this to become a reality, a well supported civil service will be put in place and our government will ensure that civil servants are well remunerated as opposed to only being used. A well paid professional civil service is what UPND will bring about.
These and many other key economic messages are embedded in our party manifesto and form our governance policies. We also directed our top officials including you our citizens out there to differentiate us from the current regime that is running down our country basing your assessment on our manifesto, which to a large extent talks about proper economic management.
And remember, for us, its Zambia and Zambians first.
May God bless our country!
AGRICULTURE -Prioritize this sector to secure food for our people and earn revenue by exporting.
Produce and give free fertilisers, vaccines etc and seed on time to farmers.
Pay farmers on time and on good flow prizes.
MINING -Provide stable policies that assures stability and room to plan well on short/long term plans.
Issue small scale mining licences to Zambians.
Protect all investment whether Public or private.
DEBT MOUNTAIN -Restructure debt portfolio.
Reschedule debt payment.
Stop borrowing but when need be borrow at low interest rates and for income generation investments.
REVENUE – maintain VAT system but strengthen its weakness.
Set mutual agreement that merits GRZ but not demerit institutions that pay.
Invest VAT funds in income generating and pay back on time.
Remove unnecessary taxes e.g bore hole levy etc.
Lower taxes to encourage payments and have adequate systems that capture all.
ENERGY – Lower electricity tariffs.
Lower fuel prices.
Remove third parties in fuel procurement.
NOTE: Energy a bench mark on any production cost.
HEALTH – Ensure medicines in all hospitals.
EDUCATION – Free education to all.
CORRUPTION – Zero tolerance to corruption.
Set a commission to review all government contracts.
Strengthen while making independent of ACC, DEC, FIC, Police, Judiciary, etc.
NOTE: On Lungu’s presidential ranting HH said GOD holds the future and not Lungu.
Support UPND for a better Zambia.