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Zambian president engages with nation on radio program 2 months after election

President Hakainde Hichilema held his first radio phone-in program to interact with Zambians after being elected barely two months ago.

Hichilema spent two hours responding to calls from citizens.

The president said his government is working at tackling the punitive tax regime and promoting economic diplomacy in its interaction with investors.

He was elected on promises to create more jobs and ease the cost of living for the country’s 18 million people.

“This is to ensure that you, our people, benefit from mines among others and then lead to job creation,” said Hichilema.

He added that State House was a service delivery machine and will follow due process in managing the transition to the new administration while ensuring that he does not create a country of “destitutes.”

Elected the seventh president since independence nearly 60 years ago, Hichilema, 59, became the first leader to reach Zambians with the phone-in platform.

It came one day after he sacked the head of the civil service, Simon Miti. He also dissolved the boards of the state power utility, Zesco, telecommunications company Zamtel and national investments manager, Industrial Development Corporation.

He denied allegations that he was under pressure to act by sympathizers of his United Party for National Development as appointees of the erstwhile Patriotic Front regime were still managing key positions in state-owned enterprises.

Hichilema, an economist by trade, insisted he was working steadily and cautiously to ensure that all changes were meritorious.

He added that his new administration would vigorously fight the coronavirus and corruption, restructure debt and devolve the administration of public funds as a means to create an improved livelihood for the country’s citizens.

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