CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu says Zambiaâ€™s peace can only be sustained through prayer.
And President Lungu is concerned about the lack of clean and safe drinking water in some parts of the country and has urged the newly-created Ministry of Energy and Water Development to ensure increased access to water supply.
Speaking when visiting Vatican Minister of Foreign Affairs Archbishop Monsignor Paul Gallagher paid a courtesy call on him at State House in Lusaka yesterday, President Lungu said Zambiaâ€™s peace cannot be guaranteed without prayer and that the nation will endeavour to continue being prayerful.
He said the visit by Archbishop Gallagher is significant and an opportunity to reflect on Zambia as an oasis of peace.
And Archbishop Gallagher described Zambiaâ€™s relationship with the Vatican in the last 50 years as fruitful.
Archbishop Gallagher said he is grateful for the warm reception which has been accorded to him while in the country.
Archbishop Gallagher was accompanied by Apostolic Nuncio in Zambia Monsignor Julio Murat, Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu, who is Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) president, and deputy of the Apostolic Nunciature Marco Formica.
Meanwhile, President Lungu says there is need to build a bias towards ensuring more access to safe and clean drinking water to prevent water-borne diseases.
The head of State said this at State House yesterday when he swore in Bishop Edward Chomba as Ministry of Energy and Water Development permanent secretary.
Others sworn in were Office of the Vice-President permanent secretary for parliamentary business Albert Muchanga, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development permanent secretary Paul Chanda and Zambiaâ€™s High Commissioner to Nigeria Solomon Jere.
President Lungu also reiterated his warning to civil servants attempting to frustrate efforts by his administration that he would not take kindly to such retrogressive vices.
â€œAs civil servants, you must toe the line of the Patriotic Front (PF) party. My experience is that some civil servants are frustrating Government programmes and this is escalated by people who think we are not supposed to be in power.
â€œI will not take it kindly against those found wanting. If you do not want to be part of us, leave, the door is open. Simple programmes like the national registration card issuance exercise are being frustrated, why?â€Â President Lungu said.
Mr Lungu urged Mr Muchanga to help Vice-President Inonge Wina as Leader of Government Business in the House by ensuring that questions in Parliament are answered promptly.
He said Zambians are eager to listen to the efforts Government is making in various endeavours, including how some challenges are being tackled.
President Lungu also urged Mr Chanda to ensure that mining companies continue to operate in the wake of low metal prices on the international market and power deficit that the country is facing.
Mr Lungu also directed Mr Chanda to ensure that youths are involved in mining and to begin exploiting other mineral resources apart from copper such as emeralds and other precious stones.
On Dr Jereâ€™s appointment, the President urged the High Commissioner to tap into Nigeriaâ€™s trade best practices and learn how to engage more womenÂ in business in Zambia as the case is in that country.
President Lungu said Nigeria is an economic powerhouse as the continentâ€™s number one economy, hence the need for Zambia to learn its best practices.
Meanwhile, Bishop Chomba, who is former chairperson for Water Resources Management Authority, said it is gratifying that President Lungu has prioritised the water development sector by creating the water development portfolio.
Bishop Chomba said the portfolio will work in tandem with other line ministries and departments to significantly address challenges in the water sector.
Meanwhile, Bishop Chomba said he will dedicate 30 percent of his earnings to tithe and helping the vulnerable and other people with challenges.
And Dr Jere said he would work towards promoting trade between Zambia and Nigeria by ensuring the exchange of best practices for mutual benefit.
CHIMWEMWE MWALE, Lusaka