Government will next year procure 150 ambulances and Zambia Police Service vehicles for all the constituencies to help improve service delivery.
President Hakainde Hichilema said this during the Granite Jubilee celebrations of the Livingstone St Theresa Catholic Cathedral in the tourist capital yesterday.
Mr Hichilema said given the importance of delivering quality health service delivery, in addition to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) monitoring vehicles, for each of the constituencies, the Government was going to deliver an ambulance and a police vehicle to each of the constituencies.
“In our quest to deliver quality health services to the community, especially the rural areas, through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the Government will procure ambulances in all the 156 constituencies across the country and deliver better services to the people of Zambia,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said through CDF, each part of the country had an opportunity to prioritise community driven development and make decisions at local level.
He said being part of the local community, the Church should be integral in accessing CDF and be part of decision making.
He said local authorities should ensure that the Church was invited to the table, where CDF decisions were made so as to fuse in their priorities, to be supported and funded through CDF.
“Sometimes the church’s priorities are not taken as top list items, but this must be dealt with going forward and this message is for the whole country. We must pay attention to the diversity of development needs, especially those proposed by the church, traditional leaders and communities,” he said.
President Hichilema said stakeholders should always remember that CDF was not money to be wasted, especially in consumption, but it should propel development that improved livelihood and promoted sustainability.
He said the Government was “very” ambitious and was a reference point in all the United Nations (UN) systems, because of its robust developmental agenda and desire to empower citizens.
He said the Government was eager to work with the church on how both could further support citizens to be entrepreneurs and innovative through empowerment programmes such as the youth empowerment fund and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).
Mr Hichilema also commended the Catholic Church leadership for its vision to invest in the education and health sectors.
He said the Government was grateful that the Catholic Church had continued with the walk to provide services that greatly benefit communities across the country.
He said the Government and the Church must continue to work together to serve communities, especially in areas of health, education and supply of clean and safe water for ordinary citizens.
Catholic Diocese of Livingstone Bishop Valentine Kalumba said the presence of the Head of State was an opportunity to foster and strengthen the working relations between the two institutions.
Bishop Kalumba said the Government and the church had a shared objective of serving the people and the community to which they belong.
“As a church, we are committed to enhancing the positive relationship that currently exists between the Catholic Church and the Government. We are optimistic about the potential for our partnership to grow further especially in the areas of education and health,” he said.
Later, the Head of State interacted with Livingstone residents in the Central Business District before flying back to Lusaka.