President Sata opens parley, pledges to transform Zambia

President Michael Sata has pledged that he will use the mandate given to him and the Patriotic Front (PF) to transform Zambia into a viable economy that benefits all citizens.

Speaking at the official opening of the National Assembly, President Sata promised that the PF government will keep doors open to new ideas from citizens and stakeholders that will help foster national development.

The head of state said he shall exercise his duties with diligence in the interest of all Zambians and ensure the society is one in which individuals live with dignity and pride.

He noted that it is time to put voters first and work towards achieving social and economic development in the country.

The President cited parliament as an arm of the government that provides checks and balances to the executive, adding that it must be a symbol of hope and focus on addressing the aspirations of citizens.

Commenting on development, President Sata said there is need for medium and long term planning to continue as a framework for development and banks must ensure they introduce favorable interest rates to allow easy borrowing by clients.

The head of state disclosed that government is soon to present the 2012 budget estimates and expenditure and undertake a comprehensive review of projects such as construction of roads.

President Sata noted that the country’s education system requires extensive review as a lot of citizens have lost confidence in it and prefer taking their children to private schools.

He said the government is aiming at increasing school enrolment and providing early childhood education facilities.

The head of state also pledged to scale up education sector staff recruitment to meet the demand and rehabilitate learning institutions.

President Sata said his regime will work to address obstacles to the provision of proper health care and ensure facilities are well equipped with medicines and other materials.

He said the PF government will increase budgetary allocation to the Ministry of health to intensify the construction of health facilities.

The head of state promised to enhance the capacity of the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to enable it become a skills training centre for youth in the country.

President Sata disclosed that his government attaches great importance to good governance and the rule of law and will ensure it delivers a constitution within 90 days.

He said the new regime is currently in consultation to come up with a committee of experts that will review all draft constitutions and submissions.

President Sata pledged to fight corruption and restore confidence that the Zambian people have lost in the Anti Corruption Commission.

He disclosed that there will be zero tolerance to corruption and culprits once caught will be prosecuted despite their status in society.

The President pledged a new people driven constitution within 3 months as his party stands for justice and the rule of law.

President Sata also paid tribute to the former Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa for the decent manner in which he presided over the house prior to the September 20 polls.

He thanked citizens for exercising their democratic right and giving PF the mandate to govern the country.

The head of state further thanked his predecessor Rupiah Banda for the smooth transition of power as it is a symbol of democracy in the nation.

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