Lungu addresses the Nation, admits failure

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President Lungu with his Wife leaving Parliament

President Edgar Lungu has addressed the Nation admitting that the country was faced with economic challenge which his government wants all stakeholders to help find a solution.

In his address which was broadcast to the nation when he officially opened Parliament, President Lungu who has never held a press conference from the time he ascended to the presidency attributed the economic meltdown to climate change.

‘We need everybody to come on board and work together,’ President Lungu said.

President Lungu prioritize the supply of power to hospitals and health facilities.

He has directed the Ministry of Energy, from midnight today to prioritise power supply to hospitals and health centres.

The Head of State has further stated that the Ministry of Energy should prioritise energy supply to water supply operations.

The President said this on Friday morning during the State of the Nation Address to Parliament under the theme, “Accelerating sustainable development for a better Zambia amidst the impact of climate change.”

“I am aware Mr. Speaker, of some health facilities going without power for long periods of time. I begin to wonder how our health workers are looking after our patients without water and electricity, which are both, extremely important and a human necessity within the management of patients,” he said.

President Lungu also noted that climate change is the current world challenge, greatly hindering the development of many nations.

He emphasized that climate change is real and that it is a phenomenon that the entire world is facing in different ways according to the weather patterns of different regions.

“My fellow countrymen and women, I would like you to fully understand that this is not my problem alone, nor the problem of my government alone. I would like to appeal to you all that, as we journey along in the sustainable development of our country, we do so by ensuring we mitigate the effects of climate change. It does not matter whether you are in government, in opposition, in the private sector or indeed in civil society; all of us are affected by climate change. This is nature, but even if it is nature, we need to join hands and see what we can do about it together,” said President Lungu.

“My government is committed to ensuring that we fight, and fight vigorously the effects of climate change, for sustainable development of our country. As I have said, we must join hands to achieve this. It must be done at political level, inter-governmental level, including corporate and civil society organisations, and at household level. This is why in my address today, you will repeatedly hear me focus on climate change. The earlier we understand and appreciate that developmental agenda needs to become more resilient in the midst of climate change, the better placed we all will be, to working towards achieving our country’s developmental agenda.”

The President further indicated that the inability to have adequate water, generate enough power, grow enough food to feed the people, have all been greatly caused by the effects of climate change.

Highlighting the progress made in addressing economic matters, the President acknowledged that Zambia’s economy has, in the recent past, faced some serious headwinds.

He disclosed that the country registered a gross domestic product growth rate of 3.7 percent as at end of 2018.

“The growth rate for 2019 was earlier projected at around four percent but is being revised downwards to about two percent on account of adverse weather conditions, which has affected the energy and agricultural sectors. Since 2015, when we experienced droughts that affected electricity generation, growth slowed down to an average of 3.5 percent between 2015 and 2018 from an average of 6.4 percent between 2011 and 2014. This slowdown was largely attributed to climate variabilities,” he added.

“To have meaningful impact on the high poverty levels in the country, we must grow the economy at a minimum rate of seven percent per annum. The emphasis must be on green growth, which entails taking a path of economic growth that uses natural resources in a sustainable manner. Our fiscal space must continue to grow, and this can only be achieved by ensuring macroeconomic stability and maintaining debt within sustainable levels. We have procured debt for development, which is one of the many financing options that we pursue. We can see it in the road infrastructure, bridges, alternative power generation investments, including but not limited to massive infrastructure development in the health, education and communications sector. This we all can see and attest to.”

President Lungu furthermore indicated that his government has had a robust agenda to ensure that the fiscal space is managed, but Zambia has faced numerous challenges to meet the objectives.

President Lungu also said the Minister of Finance will soon present, to parliament the 2020 national budget.

He said the budget will outline in greater detail the measures government will implement in order to accelerate development agenda.

“With austerity measures being put in place by my government, next year’s budget will be seriously affected as we expect to meet our debt obligations, pay outstanding local debts and meet the pressing needs of our country such as food security, water reticulation and energy generation,” he said.

“I have already stated that moving forward my government we will be “managing for results by doing more with less” until such a time when we have adequate resources for all the people of Zambia. I want to remind all public servants, in particular, that the money that government uses to run the country is tax payer’s money. It is our people’s money! What they have given us is the mandate to use it prudently to provide services to the nation. Let us use it for its intended purpose in the most diligent and prudent manner.”

President Lungu further stated that in order to demonstrate government’s commitment to doing more with less, he has instructed the Minister of Finance to ensure that budget allocations are made to each cluster with cluster members deciding on their priorities and identify areas they can jointly implement using their comparative advantages and this will be a permanent feature in the budgeting process.

Zambian Eye / Smart Eagle.

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3 Responses to Lungu addresses the Nation, admits failure

  1. Statement under the bridge he can not follow that written speech.

    Harrykalaba
    September 14, 2019 at 5:37 am
    Reply

  2. Hollow statement. No mention of how corruption will be tackled which has become endemic in PF. Austerity measures is a foreign language in PF as there is no connection between what is said and what is done. Prudent use of national resources is yet another problem with this govt which deploys police at a huge cost to chase opposition leaders. And then he calls on all stakeholders to take part in finding solutions to self created problems. For me this speech was meant to entertain PF ministers and cadres whose thinking capacity is questionable.

    Dongo
    September 14, 2019 at 6:42 am
    Reply

  3. but kwena why not mentioning corruption.Corruption has done more harm to the economy of our nation than climate .I why someone has sidelined the major issue affecting our nation .Zambians let us open our eyes this government is not taking us anywhere .

    charles musama
    September 14, 2019 at 9:51 am
    Reply

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