President Edgar Lungu says his government will not be distracted by doomsayers who have made it their mission to bring havoc to Zambia by spreading falsehoods about the country’s economy, peace and stability.

And President Lungu has regretted the rate at which false news is being disseminated, charging that it is irresponsible and illogical for people to abuse the country’s democracy by using social media platforms to spread falsehoods against individuals and the economy.

Speaking when he officiated at the party’s Provincial Conference in Eastern Province, last Tuesday, the President Lungu said the PF government would not relent in its quest to foster development for a better Zambia for all Zambians.

“As a party, we have the ability to rise above whatever confronts us, and not only a party but as a country. In our consented efforts to take our party and the country to greater heights, we cannot allow prophets of doom whose mission is misrepresenting Zambia to continue bringing havoc to our country. These prophets of doom have continued telling their blatant lies about our economy, peace and stability. However, those of us who have been given the mandate by the Zambian people to steer this ship of Zambia, we refuse to be distracted by their cheap and destructive talk. We will remain resolute and sing from the same hymn book, with one voice to ensure that our country, Zambia is propelled to its right position. As PF government, we mean well. We will not relent in our quest to foster development for a better Zambia for all Zambians,” President Lungu said.

Further, President Lungu called on law enforcers to clamp down on those abusing social media to discredit the country and the leaders in government.

“Comrades, I wish to express grief at the trail of distraction that fake news, particularly on social media has continued to threaten the peace of our nation. It is indeed of serious concern at the rate that it is being disseminated and stepping on the toes of everyone… it is irresponsible and illogical for people to abuse our democracy by using social media platforms to spread falsehoods against individuals and especially our economy. It is sad to note that the perpetrators are under the false impression that they are using such platforms to fabricate fake news and they will win… tell the Zambian people what you will do for them to improve their economy rather than telling them lies which will not put food on their tables. As government, we are calling upon all those with authority and power to help us stop this impunity we are seeing on social media. We should protect our future leaders from such careless actions. Posterity will judge us harshly if we remain content with this status quo,” President said.

He also regretted that Zambians had continued to divide themselves on tribal lines even after more than 50 years of independence.

“Comrades, let me now address the issue of tribalism, which is an ugly vice affecting everyone and especially those who mean well for this country. There is urgent need us to stop with the tribalism and tribal sentiments before they escalate to uncontrollable levels. We are one Zambia, one nation. Our forefathers did not only fight against the colonial rule but they also fought for a united Zambia under the one Zambia, one nation motto. After more than 50 years of independence and after more than 50 years of peace and tranquility, fortified by tribal intermarriages and coexistence, it is saddening that we continue to hear of tribal sentiments being peddled. This is unacceptable, it is retrogressive and I cannot imagine how someone who wants to take Zambia to greater heights can manage to do so with a retrogressive mind,” he said.

“Therefore, I wish to take this opportunity to urge you members of the PF that the entire leadership should desist from peddling tribalism. You should be in the forefront to speak against tribalism and not perpetrate it. Under my leadership, I will not condone perpetrators of tribalism in the party. In other words, we should not view ourselves as ‘this one comes from tribe A or B or C’ but we are all one and our DNA is Patriotic Front and Zambian…. I wish to make a moral call to all the people across the country to ensure that we strengthen the name “Zambia” beyond tribe, political and religious affiliation. PF is the fastest growing party because of it’s adherence to the one Zambia one nation motto. So those political parties and their leaders who do not want to listen to this free advice, it’s up to them.”

And speaking earlier, outgoing Eastern Province PF chairman Andrew Lubusha thanked President Lungu’s leadership for allowing to work for the people in the Province.

“Your Excellency, as an outgoing provincial Chairman, on behalf of the Provincial Committee, we would like to sincerely thank you for the great opportunity that you’ve given us through out our journey. Your Excellency, the time I was appointed as Provincial chairman in 2015, I found four members of parliament and three councillors. Your Excellency, under my leadership together with all the party structures in the Province, in 2016 we managed to increase from four members of parliament to 14 members of parliament. Your Excellency we also managed to increase from three councillors to 156 councillors… Your Excellency there are a number of scores that we recorded as a united force, starting from the branches up to the Provincial leaders due to your good leadership… Your Excellency after these elections, regardless of who emerges winner, we are promising that we are going to embark on reconciliation, unification and forgiveness amongst ourselves so that we can attract the opposition to join this beloved party,” said Lubusha.