PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has paid glowing tribute to Zambians for their unflinching support for his presidency and advised that the problems the country was confronted with do not need extremism and hatred as means of managing the country’s challenges.
He said Zambia was bigger than any one citizen and that Zambians of goodwill should therefore ignore politicians who employ divisive tendencies such as ‘‘descending to
base instincts of tribe, colour and sex’’ to assume State power.
In his New Year message, President Lungu said the problems that were confronting Zambians could not be the reason for hating each other as the country had known tolerance; a virtue that was the anchor of national unity and peace.
President Lungu said it was the responsibility of all Zambians to uphold law and order to avoid violence as the country was heading towards the general elections this year.
The Head of State called for hard work and unity of purpose, stating that prayer was not an option but
an imperative to ensure that the country succeeded in its endeavour to prosper. “Let me emphasise that Zambia is bigger than anyone of us and therefore citizens of goodwill must ignore politicians who seek State power through divisive tendencies such as descending to base instincts of tribe, colour, sex and other such issues.
‘‘The problems that confront us cannot be the reason for hating one another; we are a nation of tolerance and we do not need extremism as a form of management. We are a nation of hope, a nation of peaceful co-existence, we are a Christian nation,” President Lungu said.
He said Zambia could have easily fallen on the all-too-familiar path of African politics where elections were not a cause for celebration but rather a precursor to violence, destruction of property and loss of life and the general breakdown of the law and order had it not been for the maturity and collective wisdom of Zambians.
The Head of State stated that Zambia had demonstrated to the outside world that democracy was truly alive and avoided the ‘‘grand narrative of political turmoil’’ as a result of electoral disputes and lack of respect for the people’s will and choice. President Lungu said he, together with the Patriotic Front, would remain indebted to Zambians for having deposited their trust in him in the January 2015 presidential election following the death of the fifth President Michael Sata.
He said the PF Government was determined to banish hunger and poverty but that the goal would not be achieved if Zambians were consumed with bitterness and the spirit of revenge and retribution.
“Looking back now, I am satisfied that you, our people and the masters, have no cause to doubt the sincerity of this Government. I promised you a listening Government and you now have a Government that is truly at the service of the people,” President Lungu said.
The President stated that there had been progress on the constitution-making process by passing a truly people-driven Constitution during the last sitting of Parliament and that he stood proud and ready to sign it into law – the collective will of the people.