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President Lungu’s 53rd independence speech

Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda

Countrymen and women,
Good evening
It is my privilege and singular honour to address you tonight on the eve of our 53rd independence anniversary.
Personally, and millions of others who witnessed the birth of our new nation, 24th October 1964 remains indelible on our minds and the history of our country.
It is, therefore, only fitting and proper that this day is commemorated each year in a special way.
On this day in 1964, at the independence stadium in Lusaka, the first president of the republic of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda received the instruments of power from the colonial government.
As the Zambian flag was hoisted, replacing the british union jack at midnight, our people, in their thousands, shouted “Kwacha!… Ngwee!… Kwacha! Ngwee!,Signaling the dawn of a new era, an era of freedom and self-determination.
A huge copper torch of freedom was lit on the hill overlooking the stadium.
Countrymen and women,
Lest we forget, our independence did not come on a silver platter. Our freedom, sovereignty and dignity as a people, came at a high price, which included imprisonment, banishment and above all, loss of life.
Tonight, we remember with eternal gratitude, the sacrifices of our forefathers and mothers.
We recall their vision and determination to build a strong and united nation founded on love and respect for all people, of all races, tribes and religions.
This determination was demonstrated by the coming together of the likes of Mama Julia Chikamoneka And Betty Chilunga, Mr. Arthur Wina, Mr. Peter Matoka, Mr. Andrew Sardanis, Mr. Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Mr. Anoya Zulu, Mr. Harry Mwanga Nkumbula, Mr. Munukayumbwa Sipalo, Mr. Simon Zukas And Mr. Omelo Mumba, among many others, some of whom are still alive today.
From all corners of this country and all walks of life, they came and were united in the pursuit of self-rule and desire to build a new nation.
Independence day was, thus, not only a joyous occasion, but also one that marked a clean break from the bondage of the past.
As we celebrate this day, we also join the rest of the world in commemorating the founding of the united nations born out of a set of common ideals to secure world peace, the rights and protection of refugees, health for all and food security, to mention but a few.
Countrymen and women,
The choice of 24th October, which is also the united nations day, as our independence day, was thus a reflection of the progressive ideals this nation stands for.
The theme for this year’s independence anniversary is: “Celebrating Our Freedom For Continued Peace, Unity, Patriotism, And Development”.
This theme reminds us all of the need to celebrate our independence, by upholding the values and virtues bequeathed to us by the very inspiring generation of our freedom struggle.
Let us therefore, continue to build on these principles, which are well articulated in our national anthem.
Let us use this momentous occasion, individually and collectively, to reflect on the freedom that we have continued to enjoy.
Let me hasten to emphasize that the freedom we enjoy today comes with duties and responsibilities.
Countrymen and women,
Freedom is only tenable in an atmosphere of peace. No country can truly be free without peace. Zambia has continued to be a haven of peace since we gained our independence in 1964. Let us all work towards keeping this cherished record.
This achievement has not come by accident, but has been a result of our conscious and collective efforts in carrying forward the ideals espoused by the founders of this great nation. We should be thankful to God almighty for this blessing.
The peace and tranquility that we continue to enjoy has been key to attracting investment in sectors such as mining, construction, energy, agriculture, telecommunications and tourism. This is contributing positively to reducing poverty and vulnerability of our people through job and wealth creation.
Countrymen and women,
Let me now address the issue of national unity. The struggle for independence was founded and won on account of unity of purpose.
Our country is a blend of 73 tribes with different religions and political persuasions. Despite our diversity, we are all Zambians.
We share a common heritage and a common destiny. We need to stand against anything and everything that attempts to divide us. We are one people.
Indeed, our constitution recognises the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our nation.
We, as a people, have also resolved that Zambia shall remain a unitary and multi-party democratic state. We are only as strong as we are united or as weak as we are divided.
Countrymen and women,
We all have the duty to maintain and promote national unity not only for ourselves, but also for our children and our children’s children.
Without unity, lasting peace is not possible. Without unity, there cannot be any meaningful development. Without unity, there will be no country to be proud of.
Our theme this year also calls us to reflect on the cardinal issue of patriotism. Zambia was born out of patriotism.
The founders of our nation put national interest above self. Therefore, we need to uphold and preserve this spirit, without which we will not be able to fully realise the development we aspire for.
Patriotism is important in preserving our national identity. It is for this reason that our constitution recognises patriotism as one of the key national values and principles.
Countrymen and women,
Let us, therefore, inculcate this positive value in our children. Let patriotism be a currency for both our public and private lives.
Political independence without sustainable development is meaningless. Our independence should, therefore, be used as a vehicle to achieving inclusive development and prosperity.
Our independence will be futile as long as poverty levels in our nation remain high. We should not be satisfied until the fruits of independence roll down to all parts of our country like the waters of the mighty zambezi river flowing from its humble beginnings to the oceans of abundance.
We shall work towards reducing poverty, vulnerability, inequality and unemployment, especially among the youth and women-folk.
In June this year, government launched the seventh national development plan covering the period2017-2021 as a guiding framework to foster development.
Countrymen and women,
Together, it is our collective responsibility to determine our destiny. Together, we must build a thriving and resilient economy for all. Together, it is possible.
As I conclude, let me reiterate that this day, 24th October, our independence day, is not only a reminder of our transition from colonial subjugation to freedom.
It is also a call to continue promoting the values of peace, unity and patriotism bequeathed to us by our founding fathers and mothers. It is a call to us to work hard to foster sustainable development that will propel our country to prosperity.
Let me, therefore, pay special tribute to the church and religious leaders, our traditional leaders, civil society, political parties, the corporate world and international organisations for their unflinching support in fostering development in our country.
Countrymen and women,
Our generation has a collective duty to responsibly exercise this freedom and, indeed safeguard the peace and unity of our nation, under the “one Zambia one nation” motto. Above all, we have an obligation to be patriotic to our great country. Let us put Zambia first in all we say and do.
I wish you all a joyous celebration.
May God bless our great nation, Zambia.
Good night.

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Comment:

One response to “President Lungu’s 53rd independence speech”

  1. Jim Bridges. says:

    Nice speech your excellency I lived in Zambia at the time of Independance and yes “One Zambia One Nation”

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