DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu says the Patriotic Front (PF) is determined to raise funds to help the needy in society without dipping into the State coffers.
And Mr Lungu has stated that the current prevailing economic challenges cannot be attributed to any individual or form of mismanagement of the national economy because the difficulties are largely influenced by various factors across the globe.
The President, who was speaking during a prize-giving ceremony of a PF fundraising golf tournament at State House in Lusaka yesterday, urged party members to take a leading role in helping the needy in society using fundraising ventures.
Part of the proceeds from the tournament will go to Kasisi Orphanage.
â€œThis gesture is commendable as it complements efforts that my government has been making in improving the socio-economic status of the citizenry including the needy,â€ said Mr Lungu who urged the PF members to reach out to the needy and not only fundraise for the welfare of the party.
Mr Lungu said government will continue to uphold principles of good accountability of public resources especially in the wake of severe financial constraints the country is currently facing.
He said the current economic challenges are influenced by various factors across the globe and Zambia is not immune to the effects.
â€œMy government is, however, doing its level best to reposition, so as to mitigate the effects of these harsh conditions. Therefore, such efforts definitely require the participation, patience and endurance.
And PF chairperson Ngosa Simbyakula said the party has embarked on a venture to fundraise in view of the next general elections, but the President, who jokingly wondered when the elections will be held, directed Dr Simbyakula to take the issue of elections date to Parliament.
â€œI am happy to hear that the elections are next yearâ€¦says who?Â They will come when I announce. It is a pity that we have to wait for Edgar to announce the date for elections,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, CHIMWEMWE MWALE reports from Zambezi that President Lungu says his administration recognises the need to intensify efforts to close the development gap between rural and urban areas.
The President said this is being done through infrastruture development among other tangible rapid initiatives being witnessed in rural areas across the country.
The head of State said this here on Saturday when he graced the Likumbi lya Mize traditional ceremony of the Luvale people and he highlighted various development projects his administration is undertaking in the district.
Mr Lungu also said Government is tarring township roads at a cost of over K129 million while construction of chief Kuchekaâ€™s palace will soon start.
He said committees to spearhead the project both at provincial and district levels were put in place and that preliminary works have since started.
President Lungu also said the contractor to construct a police post in Mize in senior Chief Ndunguâ€™s chiefdom has been identified and will soon move on site.
To improve the welfare of children in Zambezi district, President Lungu said piloting of the Scaling-Up Nutrition programme has commenced.
â€œThe programme is aimed at improving the status of children to prevent stunting growth. The project is being spearheaded by Government in collaboration with cooperating partners. It will run for about three years in five wards of Zambezi constituency,â€ said President Lungu.
And President Lungu said the drilling and installation of boreholes under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and UNICEF has progressed well and that 41 boreholes out of 80 have been drilled and installed to supply safe and clean water to communities.
Under the social cash transfer, President Lungu said a total of 6,226 vulnerable households have benefited from the scheme in the district.
President Lungu said a total of 2,699 beneficiary households are in Zambezi West constituency.
â€œGovernment through the Food Reserve Agency has also constructed two storage sheds at a cost of about K12,000. The facility will help the district secure its own food than previous situations where the district depended on Kabompo district,â€ Mr Lungu said
And President Lungu said the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority have constructed communication towers in Kucheka chiefdom, Muyembe and Chinyama Litapi for mobile phone communication services.
He reiterated that his administration is determined to develop the district and Zambia as a whole in a holistic manner.
DIANA MUTAKAFIMBO, Lusaka