LUSAKA. — Zambia’s founding father Dr Kenneth Kaunda has extended his congratulations to President-elect Edgar Lungu on his re-election in the August 11 general elections. Delivering a written message when he called on President Lungu at State House on Wednesday, Dr Kaunda praised President Lungu for his continued concern for the unity of the country under the “One Zambia, One Nation” motto.“Through the outcome of the vote, the people of Zambia continue to exhibit their trust in the president and his work,” Dr Kaunda said.
Dr Kaunda also hailed President Lungu for not considering his re-election as that of victors and the vanquished, but as a sign to do much more to unite and develop Zambia using the national motto.
“I am further moved by your continued concern for the unity of God’s people through the motto One Zambia, One Nation.
“Truly, you have continued to exhibit the great leadership qualities of sincerity, humility, and service to God and your fellow human beings,” he said.
“I was moved after hearing the President-elect stress with deep sincerity, his concern about One Zambia, One Nation in his first address to the members of the public who had thronged State House to congratulate him immediately after he was declared winner.”
Dr. Kaunda assured President Lungu that many people in Zambia, Africa and worldwide were in support of him, as he continues in his task of healing the nation in love, peace, unity and development.
In another development, President Lungu met business leaders at a special breakfast meeting at which he hinted at broad policy measures to accelerate economic growth and control spending during his next five-year tenure.
Addressing more than 70 captains of commerce and industry at Lusaka’s Chrismar Hotel yesterday, President Lungu said he aims at creating a more stable and predictable open market environment with increased consultation between Government and the business community.
“I have five years now, which is sufficient time to take more decisive action. I will take measures to grow the economy and control expenditure. Some measures will be painful but they will yield results and by 2021, and people will reward us for having taken such action,” the President said to a cheering audience during a closed session.
“We have been constrained to take certain measures due to political considerations. But I am glad that one of the major benefits from the current constitutional order is that it assures stability in policy formulation and implementation because there is no fear of disruption in the Presidency, at least for a period of five years under the running-mate arrangement,” he said.
“Tough decisions will be made. Some will be painful but necessary. Business confidence has often-times suffered because of the frequent changes in the Presidency in the last seven years.”
The President said all the ministers he will appoint must be business and public-friendly because dialogue will be the hallmark of his Presidency.
President Lungu also announced plans to restructure the Food Reserve Agency into strictly an entity for purchasing strategic food reserves, a move that would reduce on FRA’s demands on the Treasury.
He said the FRA has done tremendously well in reducing crop waste and now wanted them to reduce on its resource demands on the Treasury.
“Zambia is a promising economy in Africa and has attracted significant regional and international investment over the last decade.
However, the past decade has also shown at various times how vulnerable the Zambian economy is to the global economic growth trends and has found itself amidst a global decline in commodity prices, emerging market interest and exchange rate price volatility and ever increasing electricity utility shortages due to slow infrastructure investment, thus not being able to keep up with demand from a growing economy.
As a Government, we are here to listen to you and ensure that our local businesses are protected from the absolute advantages international companies have.” — Lusaka Times