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Presidential speech to parliament on measures taken by Government to ensure progress in the application of National Values and Principles

On the 16th of March 2018, H.E the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Edgar C. Lungu addressed the National Assembly as provided for in Article 9 (2) of the Zambian Constitution, which demands that the President addresses the Nation on the progress made towards the application of national values and principles found in article 8.

 

These principles and values are as follows:

  • Morality
  • Patriotism and National Unity
  • Democracy and Constitutionalism
  • Human Dignity, Equity, Social Justice, Equality and Non-discrimination
  • Good Governance and Integrity
  • Sustainable Development

In his 2018 address, H.E the President reported the following as the measures that government has put in place to ensure that the country follows the application of national values.

Morality and Ethics

In order to address moral degradation such as high prevalence in teenage pregnancy as well as early marriages, misapplication of public funds, abuse of social media, alcohol and substance abuse and poor work culture, as observed in the last address by the President, government has put up the following measures:

  • Developed a Code of Ethics to regulate the conduct and behaviour of public service officers. An example is the Code of Ethics for those in the teaching profession.
  • Developed the Public Officers Ethics Bill and State Officers Bill which are awaiting enactment.
  • Developed a single vision for the public service which is “Smart and Value Centred Public Service” for enhanced good morals and ethics among government workers.
  • Intensified the implementation of Youth Empowerment Programmes such as skills development, equipment and start-up capital for income generating activities. Under the youth empowerment programme 2,667 youth street vendors have been given loans, 1,000 youths have been given motorised cargo tricycles and the Government has gone further to establish 600 youth business centres across the country.
  • Commenced the implementation of a five – year national strategy on ending child marriages targeting 40% reduction by 2021.
  • Engaging traditional leaders in the fight against child marriages with 80 chiefs and 84 headmen already oriented on the effects of child marriages.
  • The implementation of the Anti-Doping Programme aimed at sensitizing those involved in sports against the use of performance enhancing substances.

Patriotism and National Unity

In order to promote patriotism and national unity, the Government is undertaking the following measures:

  • Sensitization programmes aimed at ensuring that citizens appreciate national emblems and symbols, which are the National Flag, National Anthem, Coat of Arms, Public Seal and National Motto. Some of these programmes are carried out on the national broadcaster ZNBC.
  • The Government has embarked on the ‘Buy Zambian Products Campaign’ in order for Zambians to grow their local industries thereby helping to create the much-needed jobs.

Democracy and Constitutionalism 

In order to enhance democratic principles in the country, the Government has taken the following measures:

Human Dignity, Equity, Social Justice, Equality and Non-discrimination

In order for government to achieve the above, it has implemented the following measures:

  • Government is working towards providing decent housing, especially for the poor in society as access to housing is a fundamental human right.
  • Government is currently upgrading various shanty compounds through the provision of roads, electricity, water and other social amenities. Examples of such upgrading projects are being carried out in Kanyama, Garden and George townships in Lusaka.
  • Implementation of a multi sectoral programme on gender-based violence in collaboration with the United Nations to enhance the access to health, legal and social protection services for victims of gender-based violence.
  • Infrastructure development across the country. This includes the construction of roads, hospitals and schools.
  • In order to address gender imbalances between boys and girls’ access to education, the Government has embarked on giving out bursaries to girls under the Girls’ Education and Women Empowerment and Livelihood Project. So far 8,669 girls who had dropped out of school in various districts are being supported with school fees.
  • Government is implementing the School Feeding Programmes to enhance attendance and enrolment especially for learners from vulnerable households.
  • To promote social justice, the Government has continued to support improvement and access to safe and clean drinking water in rural areas. In this regard government has constructed 1,836 and rehabilitated 420 boreholes countrywide.
  • Government is making positive strides in achieving non-discrimination in service delivery in the country. It is currently implementing multi-faceted programmes that address the needs of the youths, persons with disabilities, women, children, the aged and orphans.

Good Governance and Integrity

In its quest to maintain good governance and integrity in line with the constitution, the government has implemented and is in the process of implementing the following measures:

  • The Government has established integrity committees in Ministries, Provinces and Other pending Agencies in line with the provisions of the new Anti-Corruption Act. Currently a total of 60 committees have been created and are operational.
  • Government is in the process of enacting the Public Financial Management Bill to foster prudent management of public resources.
  • In order to enhance accountability in Government procurement and service delivery, the government has implemented electronic governance known as

E-Governance which will empower citizens with information necessary to participate in the affairs of the nation and hold Government accountable.

Sustainable Development

The Government is prioritizing sustainable development in its development agenda and the following measures are being put in place:

  • Afforestation, reforestation and promotion of conservation farming. 2,500 hectares of land has so far been planted with trees in Luapula and Muchinga Provinces.
  • In order to manage the problem of waste management in the country, the government is in the process of implementing the first ever National Policy on Waste Management.

Recommendations

In order for the country to fully apply national values and principles, PMRC recommends that:

  1. There is need for further harmonisation of legislation and policy in all Government departments to strengthen the implementation of measures aimed at promoting national values and principles.
  2. There is need for the church, civil society and schools to work together to ensure that these values are transferred to the younger generation.
  3. There is need for Government to further enhance the outreach and sensitization on the national values to all stakeholders in society.

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