Lungu promises inclusive Cabinet

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PRESIDENT Lungu says he will appoint an inclusive Cabinet to promote good governance and unity.
Mr Lungu said he will identify and work with opposition leaders that are flexible.
“I will try to pick a few colleagues from the opposition and see whether they can work with us in Parliament and through them get to know which areas they think we can improve on in enhancing democratic governance because not everyone subscribes to cross-party interaction.
“Some of them are just die-hard opposition leaders and members, they don’t want to be seen sharing a cup of tea with you but others are flexible,” Mr Lungu said.
The President was speaking when he met United States  (US) assistant secretary of State for Africa Linda Thomas-Greenfield in Addis Ababa on Friday.
Mr Lungu also held a series of high-level bilateral meetings with Heads of State and dignitaries on the sidelines of the 24th African Union (AU) summit.
He held a closed door meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The President on Friday met Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese deputy minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming.
“Everyone is worried about violence and we are worried about violence in Burundi, I have not heard anyone worried about violence in Zambia.
“The election went extremely well in Zambia, the results were close and your people were patient and waited for the final result, people rejoiced when the result was announced,” Ms Greenfield said.
She added: “This is the best for me because elections are high on our agenda, to have elections go so well is just extraordinary. You really have so much to be proud of.”
And Mr Lungu expressed his gratitude for the accolades.
“ECZ received some support from you both financial and to some extent technical, so it (election) went on very well because of your support and we look forward to more support,” Mr Lungu said.
In response, Ms Greenfield said it is the US’s highest priority to see to it that there are free, fair, credible and peaceful elections on the African continent.
“ECZ did a good job, I will be interested in your plans and how you will move forward for next year’s elections in terms of opposition and tackling all the challenges that every country goes through with running the country,” Ms Greenfield said.
And Mr Lungu responded that there cannot be good governance without unity.
And during his meeting with Mr Kenyatta, Mr Lungu thanked his counterpart for Kenya’s support to Zambia and reiterated his intentions to strengthen the cordial working relations with that country.
“We look forward to learning from Kenya in the area of tourism and services sector,” Mr Lungu said, adding he looks forward to a vigorous working relationship between the two countries to collaborate at the highest level.
And Mr Kenyatta congratulated Mr Lungu on his election and the exemplary manner in which Zambians conducted themselves during tran-sition.
Mr Kenyatta called for increased trade relations and strong collaboration in infrastructure development and agriculture.
“I look forward to great working relations with you and I assure you of our full co-operation at all times,” Mr Kenyatta said.
He said Kenya’s unwavering support to Zambia manifested by high-level representation during Zambia’s golden jubilee Independence anniversary celebrations and during President Sata’s funeral.
And speaking when he held talks with Mr Zhang, Mr Lungu said China has helped Zambia to overcome many challenges over the years.
Mr Lungu said Zambia and China have enjoyed cordial and special relations spanning 50 years.
He said as the country celebrated its golden jubilee on October 24 last year, it also commemorated 50 years of diplomatic relations with Zambia.
Mr Lungu also said the eight bilateral economic and trade cooperation agreements signed by Chinese Vice President Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao during his visit to Zambia  is testimony that China is Zambia’s all-weather friend.
“As newly-elected President, I will be looking forward to high level co-operation with you and to build upon where late President Sata left,” Mr Lungu said.
He also called for China’s co-operation and support in infrastructure development such as construction of roads, schools and hospitals.
“Benefits have accrued to Zambia as a result of the relations with China, as a new President, I know that people are worried that there will be changes to the foreign policy, I want to assure you that we have always adhered to the ‘One China Policy’.
“The Sino-Zambia relations will remain the same and all we will do is to enhance the relations,” Mr Lungu said.
And Mr Zhang said late President Sata was a great friend of China and contributed a lot to the warm relations that the two countries are enjoying.
Mr Zhang conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s condolences to Mr Lungu over President Sata’s death.
He expressed confidence that relations between Zambia and China will flourish under Mr Lungu’s leadership.
Mr Lungu also met African Union commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The President expressed profound gratitude to the American Government for their observation efforts and for donating US$400,000 towards Zambia’s electoral process ahead of the January 20 polls.
“I wish to re-affirm Zambia’s commitment to upholding values and principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. My government will in that regard deliver a people-driven constitution to the Zambian people,” he said.

 

[Daily Mail]

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