SACCORD says it looks forward to a speech from President Edgar Lungu today, that will inspire hope for the future of the country as Parliament resumes in the midst of political tension.

In a statement availed to News Diggers! SACCORD executive director Boniface Chembe also said he expects President Lungu to commit himself to the national dialogue process.

“As the next sitting of Parliament opens, President Edgar Lungu has a huge responsibility on holding the nation together in peace and providing a common vision for the people for the next few years.”

“We hope that the President will take opportunity of this momentous occasion and inspire the nation to believe and hope for a better Zambia for all and everyone as the people strive to enhance their livelihoods.”

And Chembe said the Head of State is expected to provide more support in strengthening the governance structures of the country.

“We appeal to President Edgar Lungu to provide much more support in strengthening the governance structures of the country by ensuring that more support and resources is given to the Zambia Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Commission, Electoral Commission of Zambia, Ministry of Justice and any governance institution. We believe that strengthening the governance structures will help immensely in addressing most of the governance issues that the nation has faced since the 2016 general elections such as the spectre of political violence,” he said.

“The President must also prevail over MPs to do what is important for the nation such as recommending the right course of action to amending the Public Order Act, expediting the process of implementing the revised decentralisation policy, by providing oversight and improving budgetary allocation. It is important that the President emphasises the need to undertake all these legislation reforms as Zambia seeks to improve her human rights and democratic credentials.”

Chembe said MPs must be encouraged to be more objective in parliamentary debates so as to support the constituents that they represent and the welfare of the nation as opposed to debating national matters along party lines.

He also said that government must start the process of strengthening the Government printers capacity to be able to print ballot papers locally.

“The country not only stands to benefit from resource savings from printing ballot papers locally, but also the strengthening of Government Printers which will strengthen the local industry.”

Chembe said President Lungu must also inform the nation on the new district development plans as the country continues to have new districts.

“The plans are important as without them the planning for the new districts becomes chaotic and uncoordinated. We believe that as the nation prepares for the 2018 budget one of the basis of this preparation, especially where decentralisation is concerned, should be on the Government’s district development plans.”

He said as parliament resumes, President Lungu must continue to commit himself and the government to the dialogue process so as to assure the opposition counterparts that he and his Government mean well.

“We appeal to the President to also express his desires on the Republic putting in place a National Peace Architecture that will address any matters of a conflict nature in future,” said Chembe.