President Hichilema Calls Zambian Diaspora Community the Country’s “11th Province”
Washington D.C,. Saturday, 25 September 2021 – President Hakainde Hichilema received euphoric applause and commendation Saturday night as he declared the Zambian Diaspora Community the country’s 11th province noting that Government appreciated their contribution to the country.
And President Hichilema said the answer to the question of delivering the country out of the present difficult times lay with the important job of revamping the economy.
President Hichilema was addressing the heads of the various Associations of Zambians based in the United States in the North-West of Washington D.C.
President Hichilema said days when the diaspora was subjected to neglect were over. He said the diaspora were an asset.
“We know that there are times when you have felt neglected. But days of neglect are over. I want to tell you, we appreciate you,” President Hichilema said to huge applause. He added that the appreciation of the diaspora would be demonstrated through programmes that would ensure that the opportunities that would be created as the run-down economy got fixed were spread across to all citizens including those in the diaspora.
He called on the diaspora community to unite and join in the hard work of transforming Zambia whose foundation lay with fixing the economy.
“Fellow citizens; citizens of our great country Zambia… I believe that today we will have some decent conversations and along the way hopefully, get a few things clearer so that we can work together to deliver our country from squalor, from the derelict economy that we have to one that will offer opportunities for all our people, including yourselves, you the 11th province,” President Hichilema to a jubilant audience.
He added: “That’s the ticket we were given, the ticket given to us to take this leadership role to reunite the country, rebuild the country’s economy. That’s the ticket, that’s the issue and with a resuscitated economy, the people of Zambia expect us to deliver social benefits, look after the weak, look after the sick, look after the orphans, look after the retirees, look after those that live with disabilities. When we understand the equation very well; I like that expression! You cannot support the weak with a derelict economy. You cannot provide opportunities for jobs when the economy is dysfunctional, we are very conscious of what should take the lead, the lead must be driven from the economy side.
He called on the diaspora to unite and have a common front in dealing with the many issues they had raised including accessing national documents, accessing land and investing in Zambia as well as enhancing interaction with various government offices and departments.
Frederick Kazembe, who spoke on behalf of Zambians living in the USA congratulated the President on his landslide victory and pledged the support of the citizens in the diaspora in President Hichilema's development agenda.