PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says he laughs and chuckles when people say things are bad in Zambia, like they are better anywhere else.

Speaking when he was conferred with the status of Honorary Freeman of the City of Lusaka, Saturday, President Lungu said Zambia was doing very well.

“As we look to the future, we have to learn to deal with the new issues such as the global COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the global economic environment which all the nations of the world are currently grappling with. I laugh and chuckle when I hear people say that things are bad in Zambia like they are better anywhere else,” President Lungu said.

“This global pandemic of COVID 19 has hit the globe, all of us. Economies have been affected negatively. We just have to work together to see how we can get out of this and I think Zambia is doing very well. Let us give ourselves a pat on the back. We cannot continue blaming ourselves and portraying ourselves as failures when actually we can succeed if we work together and we are succeeding. Some situations don’t deserve being made political. What we are in is a situation which we should all push and pull together not to divide ourselves in the name of politics especially as elections come near. Let us be real.”

He said he was honoured to be conferred with the status of Freeman of the City of Lusaka.

“It is truly a great honor to be conferred with the status of honorary Freeman of the City of Lusaka. When I look back at the people that have been honoured before me, such as first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and the former president of South Africa late Nelson Mandela to name just a few I acknowledge that this is indeed a great honor. It is important to me and I shall highly value it for the rest of my life. Some of the achievements you highlighted in your speech may not have been started by me and my team but we picked the idea from those who were there before us and actualized them, this is what we call true leadership. I have lamented several times when I reflect on how successive leaders and governments have destroyed what they found by their predecessors only to start doing the same things again,” he said.

“We are not that type, we are different, we are PF. Lusaka City has seen rapid development during my tenure as President and we hope to continue on the same trajectory not only in Lusaka but throughout the rest of the country because it is our firm belief that no one should be left behind especially in the area of development. I am therefore poised to make Zambia, Lusaka in particular, a better place to live in. The people of this country entrusted me with the responsibility of leading this country and I will do my best to provide the much needed leadership. The last five years has shown that the city can still achieve its original status of being a garden city when its guided by principle, consistency and loyalty to its ideals of development which embrace everyone and not leaving anyone behind.”

And speaking during the Choma PF provincial conference, President Lungu called for discipline among party officials.

“As your team captain, I reaffirm my commitment to uphold our cherished party ideals, and work for the most vulnerable people in our society to uplift their standards of living. In this regard, I encourage you to join hands with me to entrench the patriotic front’s enduring identity as a pro-poor party, working to create a better life for all. Fellow party members, the people of Zambia have entrusted the patriotic front with the task of developing our nation in line with our party manifesto, the seventh national development plan (7NDP) and the vision 2030. These party and national strategic goals cannot be achieved without discipline. As a team, we can only move together in the direction of achieving our national development goals when we are disciplined,” said President Lungu.

“This is because discipline is the bridge between where we are now as a party and a nation; and where we plan to take our country and party. Indeed, without discipline, our desired development goals become empty rhetoric. However, I must emphasise that the most profound discipline that endures is self-discipline. Self discipline is at the core of our strength as a party and nation. It must be treasured. For this reason, I urge party members who are taking part in these intra-party elections here in Southern Province today and other subsequent provincial elections countrywide, to maintain discipline. The highest form of discipline will be expected from those who will be elected as well as those who will not be successful.”