PRESIDENT Michael Sata has a huge task today to give Zambians a strong renewed hope for unity in the midst of tribal divisions perpetrated by his enemies both in government and outside, Open Society Foundation (OSF) executive director Sunday Chanda has said.
He said the challenge the Head of State has as he opens the fourth session of the 11th National Assembly was compounded by high levels of poverty, unemployment and corruption.
Mr. Chanda said Zambians were looking to the President for renewed hope in the midst of the ‘’bleak realities’’ facing the nation and the region.
He reminded President Sata that he was carrying on his shoulders a mammoth task which included, among other things, the aspirations of 13 million people crying for a better Zambia.
Mr. Chanda hoped that President Sata would spend more time in his speech giving a visionary policy direction on the country’s high levels of unemployment, poverty, fight against corruption, poor health care delivery and the need for a new Constitution as he opens Parliament today.
Zambians were expecting the President to give a road map to the constitutional-making process and state whether the PF government would deliver the much awaited document before the 2016 general elections.
Mr. Chanda said Zambians were looking foward to see whether President Sata and his government were committed to reducing high unemployment and poverty levels the country was facing.
“These are our expectations from President Sata’s 19th September 2014 address to Parliament. Many Zambians will look to him to chart a practical direction towards more broad-based economic empowerment of citizens, service delivery and provision of basic needs,” Mr. Chanda said.
He said President Sata had a huge challenge to offer Zambians a pro-poor leadership with a vision which fits in the 50th independence annivessary, adding that Zambians expected nothing but policies that would ensure that they come first.
“In the year of our independence Jubilee, Zambians will look up to the President for concrete pronouncements on how the PF government will continue to address the issues of crime, the Constitution, poverty, unemployment, education, corruption and health care. Zambians are seriously hungry for tangible and practical steps which must result in a better life for all,” said Mr. Chanda.
He said the past four months have been stressful to all Zambians because of the absence of the President from public life and his comeback should inspire many.