Saturday, October 15, 2011

(LUSAKATIMES) Zambia expect PF to deliver on its promises-Dora Siliya

Zambia expect PF to deliver on its promises-Dora SIliya
TIME PUBLISHED - Saturday, October 15, 2011, 8:00 am

Opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya yesterday said that the people of Zambia are expectant of the Patriotic Front Government to deliver on its promises. Ms. Siliya said that as a responsible opposition political party, the MMD will ensure that the PF government delivers on the promises it has made to the people of Zambia.

Commenting on President Michael Sata’s speech to parliament yesterday, Ms. Siliya said the MMD was looking forward to hear from the president his government’s plans for the mining sector.

She said that the party also expected the President to comment on the labour matters. Ms. Siliya said that the MMD will this weekend sit and analyze the speech of the President so that they can prepare themselves for the next sitting of parliament.

She said that the party will ensure that it makes responsible contributions in parliament in questioning certain pronouncements made by the President.

MMD Mwandi member of Parliament Michael Kaingu said most of President Sata’s pronouncements are not very different from the way his party used to run Government.

Mr Kaingu, however, pledged to work with the Patriotic Front government on progressive national issues. “The success of Government is the success of everyone and we want to share in the success. We will give the government as much support as possible as long as what the government will be doing is not obnoxious,” Mr Kaingu said.

And Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has hailed President Sata’s speech. ZCTU president Leonard Hikaumba said in an interview yesterday that the President’s speech highlighted a number of important issues affecting many Zambians.

“Of special interests to us as workers is the issue of what it means to classify Zambia as a middle-income country. We think that this classification should translate into improvement of people’s lives,” Mr Hikaumba said.

Mr Hikaumba praised Mr Sata’s emphasis on employment creation, especially for young people who have skills but cannot find jobs. He said the President must ensure that more employment opportunities are created and provide an environment where the youth can be self-employed.

“Of special interests to us as workers is the issue of what it means to classify Zambia as a middle-income country. We think that this classification should translate into improvement of people’s lives,” Mr Hikaumba said.

“I think in this way we shall tackle the issue of high levels of unemployment,” he said. Mr Hikaumba further welcomed Mr Sata’s emphasis on reviewing social protection strategies, noting that most retirees either die before getting their benefits or get insufficient retirement packages.

“The indication that the social protection strategies will be reviewed is a good approach. We would like to see a situation where people will belooking forward to retiring because like that they will not end up destitute as has been the case in the past,” he said.

Mr Hikaumba said the labour movement also wanted to hear something about mining from the President but this was missing in his speech.

“We also wanted to hear something on the media because there has been quite a lot of talk on freedom of information. We thought it was going to come out strongly in the speech, but it was missing…we hope that even with the absence of these issues in the Presidential speech, they will still be attended to. We hope the national development plan will be revised and since these issues are there in the development plan, they will be given attention. We think these issues highlighted provide a good framework from where the new government can make its foundation in the developmental process,” he said.

And Bankers Association of Zambia chairperson Mizinga Melu said President Sata’s speech is hope-inspiring because it focused on a number of factors that will empower the Zambians, especially the youth.

Ms Melu also welcomed President Sata’s vision for the country’s education, health, and agriculture sectors. “I was very excited about the fact that he is looking beyond just maize and fertiliser…this will encourage farmers to focus beyond what they have been producing in the past. Most farmers will be empowered, the economy will be empowered,” she said. Ms Melu also welcomed the President’s call for the banks to reduce interest rates.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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