President Lungu delivers his State of the Nation Address as UPND MPs boycott again
President Edgar Lungu delivered his second State of the Nation Address in six months during a special session of Parliament on Friday morning.
The Head of State who spoke for slightly over 30 minutes spent the most time lamenting about the break down in family and national values and high poverty levels among Zambians.
The speech was littered with lamentations about the lack of patriotism and national pride among citizens but did little to provide solutions.
President Lungu did not state any new and concrete steps to realising his vision for Zambia.
He condemned the use of Afrikaans on the mines on the Copperbelt and the De-Zambianisation programme where Zambian miners are being replaced with South Africans.
President Lungu directed the Ministries of Mines and Labour and Social Securities to investigate such reports.
He also condemned what he called isolated attacks on Albinos and the growing incidents of ritual killings.
President Lungu spoke of the growing abuse of alcohol and condemned the coming back of Tujilijili which he said are now called Junta.
He has since directed the Secretary to the Cabinet to develop a framework for the application of the country’s national values and operationalisation of Zambia as a Christian Nation.
“We should not be a Christian Nation on paper but in deed and words,” he said.
On the issue of the enhanced Bill of Rights, President Lungu reiterated that the country has no money to run a referendum to deal with the Bill of Rights.
“Let us continue to dialogue over this issue bearing the costs after two costly elections. Let’s find a cheaper way of enhancing Bill of Rights. The demand from CSOs to have a new Bill of Rights now is untenable,” President Lungu stated.
He also directed the Secretary to the Cabinet to work with the Ministry of Education to ensure that sensitization on national emblems and symbols among citizens is undertaken.
President Lungu directed that the Secretary to the Cabinet must with the Ministry of Education to circulate hymn sheet of the National Anthem so that those that don’t know the words can learn.
He also condemned the illegal export of the Mukula tree, the quoting of foreign currency, false accounting, children indulging in Bonanza machines and citizens lack of interest in learning about Zambia’s history.
President Lungu has since encouraged Zambians to familiarise themselves with national heritage sites saying people should visit Chilenje House, the former home for founding President Kenneth Kaunda.
He also condemned some Chiefs who are in the habit of selling land to foreigners cheaply saying he does not want to see Zambians become squatters in their own land.
The Head of State directed that the Ministry of National Planning should ensure that the 7th NDP contains strategies on national land use plan and condemned the political cadres who are involved in illegal land allocation.
President Lungu’s address did not however touch on the state of the economy and the impending IMF economic recovery programme.
Meanwhile, UPND Members of Parliament have again boycotted President Lungu’s address to Parliament.
The seats where the UPND MPs normally sit were unoccupied with only Chilanga Keith Mukata attending the sessions.
As Mr Mukata walked into the House, PF MPs cheered him on and celebrated his entrance.
This is the second time that UPND MPs are staging a boycott of President Lungu’s appearance in the House saying they will continue doing so until the Constitutional Court hears the presidential petition.