PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has urged Zambians not take the peace that the country has been enjoying for granted because it can easily be lost by careless words and actions.
President Hichilema also said that politics was not for failures and that persons seeking public office should do so with a vision to serve the nation.
The President said this when he swore in Judith Mulenga as Zambia’s Ambassador to France, George Imbuwa as High Commissioner to Nigeria, Kusobile Kamwambi as Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) head and Chipokota Mwanawasa as her deputy at State House in Lusaka yesterday.
President Hichilema, who returned from a peace mission in Russia and Ukraine on Sunday, said it was good to be back home where there was peace, law and order because some parts of the world were in a really difficult situation.
“When you go there and you see, you get appreciation of what it is to lose peace then you will understand what this country has done since Independence, what it has achieved. I choose to say that so that we as a country must understand that we must look after the peace that we have, many times taken for granted,” President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema said the peace that Zambia was enjoying was lacking in countries like Ukraine, Russia, northern Mozambique, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, southern Sudan, Chad and Mali, among others.
Mr Hichilema urged the citizenry to guard the peace and unity that Zambia had been enjoying jealously so that the country did not degenerate to the situation which other nations were in.
He, however, said that even if Zambia had been peaceful, it was somehow affected by the instability that other countries were experiencing.
President Hichilema urged the media to pay particular attention to the issues that were going on in other countries and to contextualise them with the New Dawn Government’s efforts to restore law and order, unity, security, peace and stability so as to drive socio and economic development.
“I choose to say these words because of what is fresh in my mind. Many people would not go where we went. They would never go there but there are people living there, there are God’s people there. So, sometimes when we petty around in this country on small issues and ignore big issues, we must pinch ourselves and say “we shouldn’t go that way,” Mr Hichilema said.
Meanwhile, President Hichilema said public office was serious business, as was the case with politics.
President Hichilema said people should not aim to serve into public office or enter politics because they had nothing else to do.
“Public office is serious business, as I say to politics. For years we have taken politics as a game, as joke. When you can’t farm, when you can’t run a business, when you can’t maintain a job, you say ‘let me go to politics’. Politics shouldn’t be dumping place, it should be attracting people with intentions, willing to work hard, very hard for the people of Zambia,” President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema reminded his appointees that serving the public was a privilege because they were chosen out of the population of 20 million Zambians.
He said those appointed to serve in public office must earn their roles and responsibilities by discharging their duties diligently.
President Hichilema further directed Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa to circulate the Disciplinary Code to everyone serving in the public service so that they could read through, as he had done.
Mr Hichilema said the Disciplinary Code was very important and useful as it covered, among other areas, dedication to duty, diligence, alcoholism and confidentiality.
To Ms Kamwambi and Ms Mwanawasa, President Hichilema said now that the formalisation of their appointment to the PDU was done, he expected them to get on with the work, focusing on areas like agriculture, energy, health and infrastructure, among others.
President Hichilema urged Ms Mulenga and Mr Imbuwa to focus mainly on economic diplomacy, trade and investment as well as establishing valuable networks with the France and Nigeria.
Ms Mulenga was until her appointment the Chairperson of Civil Society Constitution Agenda and will replace Christine Kaseba-Sata as ambassador to France.