It is often said that adversity defines a leader but the truth is that adversity reveals a leader.
A person’s character is revealed in times of difficulty; how one responds to a difficult situation reveals who they truly are. It is during times of crisis that the true worthy of a leader is known.
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has faced the most trying and difficult times in the 5 years of his Presidency than what his predecessors probably faced in their entire Presidency; from inheriting a divided party in 2015, to gassing, mob killings, droughts, floods and now the Coronavirus disease or Covid-19 as it has come to be known.
Any other ordinary leader would have been overwhelmed by such adversity. They would have been overwhelmed by the sheer pressure, stress, uncertainty and the economic disruption that these calamities have brought; they would have made rushed decisions and made the situation worse by playing to the gallery to please their critics and prove their naysayers wrong.
President Lungu has again and again demonstrated courage, patriotism and excellent leadership by making tough decisions for the sake of the greater good of the people and the nation even when such decisions would jeopardize his personal popularity and diminish his political fortunes.
What separates President Edgar Lungu from many other leaders is that he has a very big heart to accommodate divergent views and stomach the vilest of criticism even from those who don’t merit to criticise him. His levels of tolerance and humility are beyond comparison and have always set him apart.
President Lungu has proved that his decisions are informed by and are based on sound advice from experts and professionals who largely form part of his decision making process and operandi. Most importantly, the President’s devotion to God has been the source and anchor of his wisdom, humility and simplicity in his daily execution of duties and responsibilities, not only as a Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Defense Forces but as a father, an uncle, a grandfather and a friend to so many.
With regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, the President has again exhibited high levels of wisdom, caution and unwavering patriotism in instituting appropriate measures to mitigate and combat the pandemic. The President has again and again relied on the professional advice of experts from various Ministries and departments of government in coming up with effective strategies to contain Covid-19. He has used wisdom and not expediency in rallying the whole nation and all our people behind government’s phased out response against Covid-19.
President Lungu’s approach to the fight against Covid-19 has won both local and international applause including that of the World Health Organization who have praised government’s expeditious response against the Coronavirus pandemic.
To safeguard the country’s economy and cushion the lives of the people in the face of the devastating adverse impact of Covid-19, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu has come up with a stimulus plan targeting retirees, small and medium scale businesses, suppliers, contractors as well as banks.
Cabinet has approved a contingent budget for Covid-19 and directed all Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Public Finance Act in the application of the resources being appropriated.
Government has since released K2.5 billion to reduce domestic arrears owed to domestic suppliers of goods and services which also includes the reduction on outstanding arrears to pensioners under Public Service Pensions Fund and retirees who are claimants under the Ministry of Justice.
The Patriotic Front government has further released K140 million to pay local contractors in the road sector as well as the provision of K10 billion by the Bank of Zambia to assist banks that may face liquidity challenges. The Central Bank has further revoked Statutory Instruments for classification and provisioning of loans in order to reduce the cost of borrowing.
These measures coupled with many others outlined in the government’s Covid-19 Contigency Response Plan have carefully been crafted to protect the economy from further shocks and to safeguard the lives and businesses of our people.
The President has exhibited exceptional leadership in dealing with national crises that have befallen us, starting with the droughts, gassing, mob killings, floods and Covid-19. Indeed President Edgar Lungu has been tested and has passed the test. His ability to react and manage crises in a calm, calculated and decisive manner has given hope and confidence to the entire nation that the country is in safe hands.
May God bless the President and may God bless the Republic.
Copyright © 2020 ZR.
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