Newly appointed Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya has promised truthful, fair and timely communication of all government affairs.
Speaking to journalists at a media breakfast at Southern Sun Hotel, Thursday, Siliya also said she would listen to submissions from all stakeholders including the opposition.
“It is with deep gratitude that I take up my new position as Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and most importantly, Chief Government Spokesperson. I believe my most important job is to ensure truthful, fair and timely communication of government affairs to the people of Zambia. That is the sacrosanct purpose of any elected government. It is my intention to listen very carefully to various stakeholders and the public in general to what it is they expect from their government,” she said.
“As spokesperson on all government affairs, I will use all channels of communication such as town hall meetings, stakeholder meetings, written statements and mass media to keep citizens informed at all times. After all, the Zambian people have the right to know how their government is expending national resources as captured in the annual budget. I shall remain open to receive any feedback on how, we in government, can effectively deliver development to the people of Zambia and co-exist with various stakeholders, including the opposition. It is my role to liaise with both the presidency and the Patriotic Front Party in harmonising government programmes according to His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s vision for Zambia as espoused in the Patriotic Front Manifesto and the 7th National Development Plan.”
And Siliya said she would not waste time on insults.
“What I will not do, however, is use my time of serving the people of Zambia, to engage in unproductive discourse such as rumours and insults, as those do not benefit any Zambian at all. I will work closely too, with the church, educational institutions, the youth, and women’s groups on the path of mental infrastructure reengineering in our country – we need a mindset as a nation that is based on tolerance, forgiveness, entrepreneurship and love for one another,” she said.
Meanwhile, Siliya noted that although the economy was performing well, there was need for government to do more.
“I am already aware of how much work has been done by government in reducing the cost of doing business in Zambia, reforms in agriculture, health and education, infrastructure development and also supporting the vulnerable through cash transfer programme. Some of these achievements are not even known by the citizens. It is my duty to ensure visibility of these social and economic achievements so that our citizens are well informed of how their government is meeting campaign promises. Yes, our economy is doing well, yes, Moody’s Credit Rating is stable; yes, inflation is single digit; yes, government has embarked on fiscal discipline; but we must do more,” said Siliya.
“We must do more to ensure growth in the economy trickles down to the poor and vulnerable citizens so that they can afford decent housing, decent sanitation, adequate nutrition and decent wages for decent jobs. With the disruption of traditional media by online media, we all have to rise to the occasion to ensure a balance between private and public good. Our national values of love and forgiveness and simply good manners should assist us isolate those who wish our country to degenerate into a pit of insults in the name of politics.”