CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina yesterday led hundreds of youths in commemorating the 2017 Youth Day at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka.
Mrs Wina laid wreaths at the monument in honour of the youths who died in the liberation struggle.
This yearâ€™s Youth Day was commemorated with week-long activities under the theme â€˜Unity and innovation for a smart Zambiaâ€™.
Mrs Wina, who represented President Lungu at the solemn wreath laying ceremony, arrived at the statue around 09:55 hours and was received by Cabinet ministers, service chiefs and Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Davies Mwila.
Others who received her were senior government and PF officials.
Mrs Wina later led service chiefs, diplomats accredited to Zambia and youth representatives in laying wreaths at the historical statue after a gun salute.
The Zambia Army brass band played solemn music during the proceedings.
And Zambia Police Service chaplain Francis Kaoma, who delivered a homily after reading from Romans 12:1-5 of the Bible, implored youths to be dedicated and channel their energies towards national development.
Reverend Kaoma said youths should desist from engaging in vices which could divide the country.
â€œI urge youths in the country to be dedicated and channel energies to national development instead of vices and activities that can divide the nation,â€ he said.
A special prayer for President Lungu was also offered to help the head of State continue spearheading the development of the country and youths.
Mrs Wina left immediately after shaking hands with all the diplomats and ministers at the ceremony marking the end of the short ceremony.
This yearâ€™s Youth Day was commemorated in unique fashion without official speeches and the traditional march past by various institutions and groupings that have characterised the day in past years.
Hundreds of youths, including those from the PF, however gathered and followed the proceedings quietly.
The PF youths later began to chant party slogans and in support of Mrs Wina and the party leadership as the Vice-Presidentâ€™s motorcade sped away.
From Ndola MONICA KAYOMBO reports that Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo said youths on the Copperbelt share mixed demographic characteristics and an unimaginable variety of challenges stifling their potential.
Speaking when he addressed youths from all spheres who gathered at Ndola City Council, Mr Lusambo said despite all the challenges, the youths were the greatest assets and potential for national economic growth and development.
Kitwe district commissioner Binwell Mpundu said Government recognised youths as important partners in unifying the nation, MWILA NTAMBI, reports from Kitwe.
Mr Mpundu said youths were well-placed to promote national unity because they made up 67 percent of Zambiaâ€™s population.
BUTTYSON KANDIMBA reports from Solwezi that North-Western Province Minister Richard Kapita said the Patriotic Front (PF) government had started developing a youth resettlement scheme in the province to empower young people with land to create the much needed employment.
Acting Livingstone district commissioner Harriet Kawina directed security personnel to arrest all pupils found abusing alcohol in drinking places to avoid diluting the purpose of the Youth Day celebrations, SHIKANDA KAWANGA reports from Livingstone.
HENRY SINYANGWE reports from Kasama that permanent secretary Jobbicks Kalumba urged youths in Northern Province to be disciplined and focused.
From Kazungula, NANCY MWAPE reports that Ministry of General Education permanent secretary Henry Tukombe said the growing number of street kids in cities was a time-bomb that called for urgent attention.
CHAMBO NGâ€™UNI reports from Kabwe that Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga led youths, Government officials and members of defence and security wings in the region in commemorating the Youth Day.
Governmnet has set aside US$50 million to help create small and medium-scale enterprisesâ€™ (SMEâ€™s) projects for youths countrywide while youth activist George Mwanza asked Government to build a public university in Eastern Province and speed up the construction of the science and vocational university in Katete district whose works have stalled, DARLINGTON MWENDAI and NAOMI MWIMBA report from Chipata.
Eastern Province Minister, Makebi Zulu said the US$50 million project was targeting to generate more jobs for youths.
CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka