Zambia’s new President, Hakainde Hichilema, has delivered his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2021 summit urging the international community admire the legacy of Zambia’s founding president Kenneth David Kaunda.
Hichilema, who took the best part of his speech idolizing Kaunda, said the Zambia’s first president who died two months before Hichilema’s election as President, was the last remaining Stewart of liberation struggles. He said Kaunda has left an indelible mark on human terrain. Hichilema claimed that the late Kaunda’s “principles, values, and contributions towards the ideals of emancipation and independence did not spread only across the African continent, but across the globe”.
He further called upon world leaders to work towards global peace and international cooperation. He raised a concern that although leaps and bounds have been made, in the area of peace, security and stability, there remain pockets of conflict in many regions of the world where guns have not been silenced.
Hichilema said challenges of extremism and international terrorism, cybercrime, asymmetric warfare proliferation of non-conventional weapons and organized crime should be stopped.
“I am drawn to the prophetic inscription on the wall of the United Nations Plaza, and I quote: ‘they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more… Isaiah 2 verse 4-5’. End of quote… As an international community, we need to continue to work together to address the root causes of these global threats through various national, regional and global mechanisms,” he said.
He referred to the deadly conflict in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, committing an active role of Zambia in the SADC mission in Mozambique aimed at restoring peace to the province. He called for continued support of the United Nations in silencing the guns in Africa and other continental initiatives.
The Zambian leader reminded the stage of the peaceful elections that occurred in Zambia leading into his ushering in as the country’s president saying the peaceful transition of power “has consolidated the democratic credentials” of Zambia which he said “will serve as an inspiration to the African continent”.
Mr. Hichilema further committed to ideals of democracy, saying his administration will work towards strengthening of oversight and governance institutions and ensure the independence and autonomy of the three arms of government, particularly the legislature and judiciary.
President Hichilema said “the fight against corruption will be at the center of our transformation agenda and this shall be executed with zero-tolerance”.
On poverty reduction, the Zambian leader said his administration has embarked on an ambitious economic and social transformation agenda with a view to creating equitable opportunities and poverty reduction for the Zambian people, especially the youth and women.
On climate, Hichilema called for closer cooperation and support for capacity to adopt better, safer, climate change sensitive and modern methods of increased production and productivity. He said his administration has established, Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, to address issues of climate among other important issues concerning environmental sustainability.
Writers: Hamilton Mwandira (Shire Times) and Mwebantu Editor (Mwebantu)
Editor: Innocent Ian Marshall