VICE-President Inonge Wina says it is time Zambians cherish the peace they are enjoying as the 2021 general elections approach because the whole world recognises this country’s peaceful status.

And Vice-President Wina says national values and principals are a critical ingredient in developing the country.

Meanwhile, National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili says national values and principles remain a defining feature of the nation.

Speaking when she launched the the Translated Information Education and Communication Materials on National Values and Principals in Lusaka, Tuesday, Vice-President Wina expressed sadness that Zambians did not appreciate and realise how important peace was, adding that the country was held high esteem globally due to the peace that it had enjoyed since independence.

“Zambians sometimes do not realise how important this is. The whole world celebrates Zambia as being a peaceful country and Zambians do not seem to appreciate this fact. Zambia is held high in the globe because of the peace that we enjoy,” Vice-President Wina said.

She said as the country progressed into the election period next year, Zambians should reflect on how they will conduct themselves.

“Now that we are nearing elections, this is the period that we should reflect on how we are going to conduct ourselves. We saw the passion of Zambians registering themselves as voters and that is an indication that they feel for this country, that they believe that something good can come out of this country, and through the leaders they choose that will be an indication of the Zambia they want to see. It is time when everyone should sing about peace to prevail in our families; peace to prevail in our country and in Africa! We need peace to ensure that development takes root in our nation,” she said.

And Vice-President Wina said national values and principals were a critical ingredient in developing the nation.

She observed that the unity and sense of patriotism had slowly eroded from the country being known as a beacon of peace and democracy as some unscrupulous citizens had adopted criminal behaviour.

“Ladies and gentlemen, national values and principals are a critical ingredient in the development of Zambia. Therefore, this positive development can only be achieved once adherence to those values and principals is made a priority for all Zambians. It is the duty of all of us to invest time, resources and energy in making sure these national values and principles become a defining feature of our nation discourse as the identity they give is of a humane society and a thriving, positive economy for now and the future,” she said.

Vice-President Wina further implored Zambians not to be misled into hating one another and propelling violence during the forthcoming general election.

“We, therefore, need to remind each other about the importance of upholding national values and principals. Let us teach each other the good morals of hospitality, generosity and respect for elders, the environment, human life and property. I urge you not to be misled into hating one another and propelling violence as the country heads towards general elections,” urged Vice-President Wina.

Meanwhile, Rev Sumaili said that national values and principals remained Zambia’s defining feature.

“Your Honour, the Vice-President, I want to thank you for finding time to launch this important document, which is the National Values and Principals. I want to say these national values and principles are our defining feature of the nation. And I must say that Zambia has undergone socio-economic transformation, which has resulted in improving livelihood and various social changes,” said Rev Sumaili.

Earlier, House of Chiefs Chairperson senior chief Luembe said that traditional leaders were critical stakeholders in ensuring that the national values and principals were well articulated.