CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) deputy secretary-general Mumbi Phiri says the ruling party has registered an indelible mark on the countryâ€™s infrastructure deficit in the four years it has been in office.
Reflecting on the fourth anniversary of the PF in office, Mrs Phiri said the ruling party has accomplished part of its development agenda and that it still has more to do to realise its vision for Zambia.
She said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that there is need to depart from using the same â€œpartisan playbookâ€ which divided Zambia for years and to embrace the motto â€˜One Zambia, One Nationâ€™ to do more for people.
Mrs Phiri urged political parties to desist from embracing and championing divisive politics.
She said the PF have made serious strides to provide achievable, realistic and clear programmes in response to the various challenges facing Zambians, and that the ruling party is looking forward to working with the people in its quest to advance the gains of Zambiaâ€™s democracy.
â€œOur massive and unprecedented infrastructure development has made the PF government to be more appreciated even in areas where we were previously not. There is no province in Zambia that will not point to some roads, bridges, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, clinics, railways, etc, which the PF Government has constructed over the past four years,â€ she said.
Mrs Phiri said the record is indisputable and that the PF is considering more infrastructure projects because infrastructure is key to attracting local and foreign direct investment.
She also pointed out that the PFâ€™s first four years in office have seen the introduction of minimum wages, creation of new districts and upward adjustment of salaries for civil servants among others.
Mrs Phiri said the measures have received broad support from a cross section of society.
â€œThis continues to demonstrate that PF is pro-labour and a true friend of the workers. Other measures have included revising the law on retirement age to provide for three options an employee can exercise to retire. PF still believes more must be done to ensure a more vibrant pension fund,â€ Mrs Phiri said
She also said President Lungu has lifted the employment and wage freeze, entailing that civil servants will bargain with Government and that more people will be recruited, creating more jobs.
Mrs Phiri said among other commitments the PF administration is working towards fulfilling, include the new constitution and judiciary reforms.
And Mrs Phiri said the fundamentals of the countryâ€™s economy are resilient in the wake of global economic challenges and Chinaâ€™s reduced appetite for copper contrary to insinuations by some critics.
â€œDuring our first four years in office, Zambia has been hit by another challenge with the Kwacha becoming volatile against major convertible currencies. This is of course arises out of China slowing down its economic growth rate, including devaluing its currency, the Yuan. Copper prices at the global markets have also gone down thereby affecting Zambia as a copper producing country.
She said President Lungu and the PF administration must be commended for interventions such as the directive to Zesco not to increase electricity tariffs for two years and the Presidential solar hammer mill initiative among others.
Mrs Phiri also said President Lungu is aware of the challenges facing individuals, small-scale and large-scale businesses because of hydro power deficit.
CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka