His decision to declare Friday, October 25, a public holiday resulted from the fact that tomorrow, Thursday, October 24, 2019, is Zambia’s 55th independence anniversary.
The majority of Zambians, especially workers, were extremely excited about this news. This meant they will have a long weekend – Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – before they return to work on Monday.
Others, however, feel the declaration of Friday as a public holiday is unnecessary. Those holding this view contend that such a decision will affect productivity. But we say they’re misguided! Why? Because the mere declaration of a public holiday does not entail unproductivity of an individual or masses. Being away from an office does not mean “do not work”. Those are two different issues that must not be confused.
There are a lot of Zambians that do a lot of work outside of their offices. Therefore, for them, there’s no holiday. Meaning, work can be done from anywhere, as long as people deliver. There are other essential workers like nurses, doctors, policemen, shop attendants and supermarket employees who have no holidays and work any time their services are needed. So this holiday really is not to say people shouldn’t work. That will be suicidal! It is exactly in this spirit that President Lungu said Friday should be a public holiday. This shouldn’t be misinterpreted to mean that people must not do anything and that they should engage in activities that are detrimental to the country’s well being.
This day can be used to engage in personal activities, like tending to farms and other projects, for the betterment of livelihoods for individuals and the country’s economic growth.
President Lungu stated in his message yesterday that he hopes the public holiday declared on Friday will
“give citizens enough time to reflect on our duties and obligations as citizens of this great nation. Let us use this time to appreciate the sacrifice made by our forefathers and mothers, the heroes of our struggle for independence. As President John F. Kennedy once said ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’ May that be said about Zambia as we turn 55.”
Remember, patriotism should override everything else. May all of us put Zambia first and be good ambassadors of the country.
Happy Independence Zambians!