And President Lungu has expressed concern on the continued alcohol abuse among the youth.
The Head of State has also advised Zambians to be the best ambassadors of their country.
“As a democracy, we as government govern with the authority and voice of the people. Therefore, we remain committed to promoting the rights of citizens to participate in running the affairs of our country. We are equally committed to upholding the supremacy of the constitution for the well-being of all Zambians,” the Head of State said in his State of the Nation Address delivered in Parliament today.
On alcohol and substance abuse among the youth, President Lungu said his government would continue sensitization programmes in partnership with traditional and religious leaders.
“Another area of concern has been alcohol and substance abuse, especially among our young people. To curb alcohol and substance abuse, government, among other measures, undertook sensitisation of traditional and religious leaders where 235 chiefs and 180 religious leaders from all the ten provinces were sensitised on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. This was with the view to strengthening their role as agents of change. This programme will continue because traditional and religious leaders play a cardinal role in shaping the morals of our society,” he said. “Further, government undertook 2,310 public awareness programmes in learning institutions, work places and community-based structures throughout the country. These programmes, which are also being supported by corporate entities, will continue.”
And President Lungu has urged Zambians to always speak well of their country to outsiders.
“Patriotism demands that we always speak well of our country. Let us be the best ambassadors of our motherland at home and abroad. Let us be proud of our land, our identity and our home. We may not appreciate how it feels to have no sense of belonging,” he said.
President Lungu also called for the spirit of constructive dialogue.
“To further enhance national unity, we need to engage and communicate genuinely as a people. We need to embrace a spirit of constructive and progressive dialogue at all levels,” he said.
The Head of State said that his leadership had set national unity at the centre of development through commemoration of national days.
“In an effort to foster national unity, identity and sovereignty, government has continued to facilitate the commemoration of National Days of historic importance. These include Independence Day, Africa Freedom Day and National Day of Prayer, fasting, repentance and reconciliation,” President Lungu said.
He said he was happy with strides made toward promoting national values and principles as evidenced by the increase in reported cases of gender based violence and cited the establishment of fast track courts that were dealing with gender based violence.
“To support victims and expeditiously dispose of gender-based violence cases, government has continued establishing one-stop centres and user-friendly fast-track courts. In 2017, we only had two fast track courts situated in Lusaka and Kabwe. At the end of 2018, four more courts were established and are operational in Chipata, Ndola, Livingstone and Mongu,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu reiterated his government’s commitment towards the fight against corruption.
“Government is committed to the fight against corruption. Corruption starves vital developmental programmes of the much needed resources. It is an evil that unnecessarily inflates the cost of doing business and erodes investor confidence in the economy,” he said.
And on the media, the Head of State advised journalists to provide progressive content to their audiences.
“I wish to draw the attention of this August house to the media. The media has a powerful role to play in building our nation which goes beyond informing, educating and entertaining. They have a major influence on the moral and ethical conduct of our people. I, therefore, wish to implore media houses to take a lead in promoting moral and ethical living among our people. They should be sensitive to their audience and ensure that their content is progressive and not destructive,” said President Lungu.