PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has reiterated that Zambians should only expect “more money in their pockets” when they work hard.

And President Lungu has called on the Church to continue providing counsel to his government and those in the opposition prior, during and after the August 12, elections.

The President was speaking when he officiated at the commissioning of the Bishop John Osmer’s house of the Anglican Diocese in Chipata, Eastern Province.

President Lungu hoped that the Church would continue to lead the nation in prayers for peaceful and fair elections.

He further called on the church to work with his government to inculcate values and principles among the citizens.

“I wish to commend you for the silent diplomacy approach you have adopted in engaging the government. That is how it should be, and I pray that you will continue, especially this year as we prepare for the general elections which will be held on August 12, 2021. It is my prayer that the church will continue to lead the nation in prayers for peaceful and fair elections. Pray for everyone in leadership at all levels-political leaders, the clergy, the family and the community. Let our faith be anchored firmly in God that he, and he alone, will bring everlasting peace, unity and prosperity to our motherland Zambia. I was telling the members that when they said ‘more money in your pockets’, they forgot to say hard work. Without hard work, forget about more money, forget about lower taxes, forget about more food in the pocket,” President Lungu said.

“Government is grateful for the works the church is involved in. The government is committed to support you in this noble cause. Your works, as I said earlier, supplement government efforts and we will, therefore, not relent in providing the support you need in accordance with the overall government policy. I wish to encourage you to continue working in communities to fulfil your mandate of being the salt of the world. I also invite you to partner with my government in promoting the national values and principles as enshrined in the constitution. The church is cardinal in inculcating values among the citizens. I wish to call upon the church to work with my government, to inculcate the values and principles in order to transform citizen’s lives for a better Zambia.”

And President Lungu reiterated his call to the Church to continue providing counsel to the government and those in the opposition prior, during and after the August 12, elections.

“I know that the church is already involved in one way or another in addressing some of the vices the nation is grappling with. These include: ending early marriages. The girl child should be protected from dropping out of school at an early age. Children should be given an opportunity to pursue their dreams and actualise their potential by attending school. Alcoholism, drug and substance abuse; this vice has been on the increase. With your prayers and counselling programmes, many of our young people can be assisted to avoid being addicts. Let me pay special tribute to Bishop John Osmers for being an ardent freedom fighter for the liberation of Southern Africa and being the first bishop of the diocese of Eastern Zambia. During your reign as bishop, you started this sustainability programme,” he said.

“You supported and continue to support the under-privileged in society, especially, with tertiary education. I understand that you have also dedicated your time working with people who have been displaced in their own countries. Indeed, you have touched many lives. Let me also pay special tribute to the current bishop of Eastern Zambia, Bishop William Mchombo for continuing strengthening this resolve of sustainability by constructing this structure, which will generate income for the diocese. The need for hard work in the country for all institutions and individuals cannot be overemphasised. It is through hard work and such initiatives that the church can be self-sustaining and an example to all on how to pray and be relevant to the community. As I conclude, I wish to congratulate the bishop, the clergy and lay faithful of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia for the 25 years of service and witness, after being delinked from the diocese of Lusaka. Also, I wish to reiterate my call to the church to continue providing counsel to the government and our colleagues in the opposition prior, during and after the general election slated for August 12, 2021.”