Editor's Comment

National principles, values for our good

MINISTER of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili.

CITIZENS are expected to uphold national values and principles as enshrined in the Constitution.While the process of upholding national values and principles starts with Government, it ends with citizens who should be seen to be practising such values and moralities.
In pursuit of national values, every year President Edgar Lungu addresses Parliament on progress made in the application of our national values and principles.
Last year, President Lungu expressed concern at the high rate of teen pregnancies and early marriages.
He also observed a growing trend in the misapplication of public funds, and misuse of social media, alcohol and substance abuse as well as a poor work culture, among others.
The concern by the President should be taken seriously because the vices he expressed concern about have the ability to erode our national values.
Let us take, for instance, the misapplication of public funds. This vice can lead to poverty, which in turn can have a negative effect on sustainable development.
We all know the negative effects of alcohol abuse, which, apart from resulting in death, can also rob the nation of the much-needed labour to propel it to higher heights of prosperity.
Teen pregnancies and early marriages are bound to subject girls to abuse while robbing them of a brighter future and denying them the chance to be decision makers at a higher level.
It is out of these concerns that we also want to take note of the efforts Government is making in promoting national values through an awareness programme involving nine political parties.
According to acting Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Sylvia Chalikosa, the political parties have been engaged as a way of strengthening nationalism among citizens.
She told Parliament on Friday, in response to Senga Hill Member of Parliament Kapembwa Simbao, who wanted to know if Government has plans to conduct public awareness programmes on national values and principles.
In conducting such programmes, Government draws its strength from the Constitution, which has spelt out our national values and principles.
The Constitution spells out national values and principles as morality and ethics; patriotism and national unity; democracy and constitutionalism; human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination.
Others are good governance and integrity as well as sustainable development.
While Government, under the Constitution, is mandated to do its part in promoting national values and principles, we wish to state that the other part of the obligation lies with us as citizens to ensure realisation of these values.
Already, by engaging political parties in an awareness programme, they are expected to inculcate the same values in their members who are citizens of our nation.
While the process of infusing national values and principles starts with Government, we, as citizens, have to be seen to be practising and upholding them.
Our leaders aim to make Zambia a better country but this objective can only be fully realised when we, the citizens, put in our all.
Can we, for a moment, imagine how beautiful our nation would be if all our efforts aimed at upholding national values and principles were put together?
Politically, we want to see more co-existence, tolerance, love for one another while economically, we want more prosperity as a nation. Socially, we want to enhance cohesion.
Let us all support Government efforts and make a name for our country.

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