Home Zambia News President Lungu address to the Nation on the New Year Eve

President Lungu address to the Nation on the New Year Eve

President Lungu

President Lungu’s address to the Nation on the New Year Eve

Countrymen and Women,

Good Evening.

Today marks the end of the year 2019. As the clock strikes 24 hours, we will be entering a brand-new year. As we bid farewell to 2019 and eagerly await the dawn of 2020, let us thank the almighty God for his abundant grace which has brought us this far in peace and stability.

The end of the year is an opportunity to look back at what we achieved or did not achieve, as individuals, as families and as a nation. It is also a time to reflect and make resolutions about what we desire to achieve in the new year.

Let us, therefore, take a moment to reflect on what we have done to make our country a better place for all. By taking stock of our past, we are better able to plan and face our future. More importantly, we must resolve to overcome whatever hurdles that come our way and not give in to despair and self-pity.

Countrymen and Women,

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Admittedly, the year 2019 has been a challenging year. Difficult for the country. Difficult for our families. Difficult for business. Difficult for social services.

To begin with, the extreme weather conditions which affected the sub-region did not spare our country. Agricultural production suffered, resulting in food deficit in most parts of our country, particularly at the household level. Even the Victoria falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, which usually has abundant water, virtually dried up, thereby diminishing the unique attractiveness of our flagship tourism product.

Also adversely affected was our hydro-power generation. The low water levels in our reservoirs at lake Kariba and Itezhi Tezhi Dam triggered the most severe load shedding ever experienced in the history of our country. The effect of the power deficit was low production in most sectors of our economy such as mining and manufacturing. Even for our small-scale entrepreneurs.

Further, global events such as trade restrictions between major economies of the world also affected our economy. The demand for our major export commodities was dampened. Despite all this, we never gave up. We resolved to overcome and we kept the economy afloat.

Countrymen and Women,

The government fully understands the difficulties our people are experiencing. It is for this reason that we have been distributing relief food to hard-hit areas across the country. In the last quarter of 2019 alone, 29,000 tonnes of mealie meal were distributed to affected areas, which constitutes about 50 per cent of the total amount of mealie meal required in the needy areas.

The distribution of relief food will continue until the hunger situation improves and our people are able to fend for themselves. Government is, however, not alone in providing relief to our people. My gratitude, therefore, goes to all our cooperating partners, various organisations as well as individuals of goodwill who have, and continue to contribute generously to these humanitarian efforts.

Every Zambian has a responsibility to bring hope and comfort to those in need. Those involved in the distribution of relief food have a responsibility to make sure that the food reaches the intended communities and households. We must, at all cost, avoid worsening the situation by engaging in illegal activities such as corruption, smuggling and extortion. Let us be vigilant and report such misconduct. We want to see this food to reach our people in need and make a difference in their lives.

Government is also concerned about the high price of mealie meal in the country, a situation negatively affecting our people. To address this problem, we are working with millers to progressively reduce the price of mealie meal. This intervention is beginning to yield positive results. It is our desire to see that every household is able to afford at least a bag of mealie meal.

Countrymen and Women,

With regard to the power deficit, the government is importing electricity in a bid to reduce hours of load shedding which has not only affected businesses but also households. This intervention has brought some relief to businesses and our families.

Further, the waiver on duty on the importation of power generators and solar equipment is still in effect to enable our people to have access to alternative sources of power. Furthermore, the government is removing duty on the importation of gas stoves, other gas cookers and gas boilers with effect from tomorrow, the first of January, 2020.

Most importantly, efforts to ensure a steady supply of electricity are ongoing. The new 750 megawatts Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Power Station will come on board in the coming year. This will in no doubt significantly ease the power deficit in the country.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you, the people of Zambia, for your patience and understanding as we go through this challenging period. We are a resilient people and we shall overcome. As the bible says in 2 Corinthians Chapter 4 verse 9, we may feel cast down but we are not destroyed because our lord is in control of the situation.

Countrymen and Women,

We continue to enjoy peace and stability as a country. In as much as we have differences among ourselves, we remain a beacon of peace. We must, therefore, strive to remain peaceful and make it our duty to maintain this peace and stability. Let us be together as we strive to conquer because together we will win. Let us not pull in different directions, because together we will win. Let no political belonging divide us, because together we will win. Let no tribe divide us because together we will win.

Thanks to this peace and stability, we were able to pursue a sustainable development agenda. Let us not take this peace for granted, it is through peace and development that we continued to enhance the welfare of our people. More of our citizens are now able to access health, education as well as water and sanitation services. This is a clear testimony that our robust infrastructure development programme is, indeed, bearing fruit and being appreciated by our people.

We have connected the country through an improved road network, telecommunication, and digital television services.

More of our people in rural areas now have access to electricity through the rural electrification programme.

It is the duty of each and every Zambian to take good care of all the public infrastructure in order to derive maximum benefit from our investment.

Countrymen and Women,

The government continues to hold provincial investment expositions, especially in rural areas. This year, expositions were successfully held in the Copperbelt, North-Western and Southern Provinces, bringing the number of provinces that have held expositions to six since 2017.

As a result of these expositions, we have seen an increase in the number of tourism activities in Samfya; the development of the Kalungwishi farm block in Lunte, and the construction of the industrial economic zone in Chibombo. It is our expectation that more investments will come from these efforts.

This will enhance incomes for our people through increased job opportunities, ready markets for their produce, as well as, opportunities to engage in business partnerships with prospective investors.

Countrymen and Women,

Government reaffirms its commitment to making this country better. This is what we promised our people. A better life and a better country for everyone. Let us be innovative and adapt to climate change. I encourage every Zambian to plant a tree during this rainy season and make it a habit to dispose of solid waste responsibly. By so doing, we will contribute to creating a cleaner and healthier environment.

Countrymen and Women,

Even amid setbacks, we must succeed, we will succeed and we shall succeed. As a government, we will not shy away from our responsibility to provide leadership. Leadership to take the country to greater heights while maintaining and championing peace and stability. Leadership in uplifting the lives of our people, without leaving anyone behind. Leadership in transforming our country for the better.

I, therefore, urge all public officers to rise above board and remain patriotic. Let us always do what is right and good for the nation. This way, the government will be able to perform its role to the expectation of our people. I further urge every Zambian to play their role in developing this country at individual and community level. By working together, we shall make Zambia a better place.

Countrymen and Women,

The youth and women are a vital resource that plays a critical role in our transformation agenda. Government is determined to provide our youth and women with opportunities to enable them to contribute more to national development. Government is determined to facilitate for the physically challenged persons so that they equally contribute to national development. We will continue to empower them to engage in meaningful economic activities of their choice.

To you our youth and women, I urge you to use these empowerment opportunities effectively to uplift your lives and transform your communities. I know that you are able and capable. When you actively participate in our economy, your families benefit, your community benefits, your country benefits, we all benefit

Countrymen and Women,

As we welcome 2020, let us remember that the task of building this nation is the responsibility of each and every Zambian across the political divide. Therefore, commit to work harder and advance our unity of purpose. We should be resilient and innovative. We should embrace new ideas and have a positive attitude towards life.

Let us renew our commitment to do and stand for what is right and good for our nation. Let us uphold the values and principles that hold us together as a nation. Let us be a caring nation. Zambia needs the contribution of all of us. Let us also remain patriotic and united in line with our motto of “One Zambia One Nation”.

Countrymen and Women,

The festive season is a time for sharing and giving. Let us share with those who do not have and lend a hand to those in need. Let us also include those who are lonely in our celebrations. Let us continue to live in harmony with one another and the environment.

Let us have clarity and sharpness of thought, like a 2020 vision. May God bless us all with happiness, good health, peace and prosperity in 2020.

Good Night.

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Source – ZambiaTimes

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