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President Hakainde Hichilema says it is time to unite and develop the country, now that elections are over.

The head of state says it is time to ‘take Zambia forward’ saying restoring the country’s economy is on top of the UPND’S agenda.

Speaking when he gave his maiden speech during the opening of the first session of the 13th National Assembly, President Hichilema said the UPND is committed to ensure an affordable cost of living for every Zambian and equitable distribution of the country’s wealth.

He said poverty among the people remain ‘unacceptably high’, which will be addressed by among other things, to streamline social protection programmes in an effort to provide equitable delivery of empowerment opportunities.

President Hichilema said his message themed “creating a united, prosperous and equitable Zambia: Restoring economic growth and safeguarding livelihoods” sets a tone for development.

The head of state has also emphasised that up-scaling of financial assistance will be prioritised to sustain youth and women empowerment as opposed to unsustainable opportunities of ‘start, stop’

And President Hichilema has said the UPND will uphold the highest standards of transparency in the execution of their mandate to make Zambia a better place.

He said Zambians on August 12, sounded a trumpet of change which is possible if every Zambian puts national above personal interests.

“Our best years as a country are within our reach. Hard work, discipline and perseverance must be our bedrock” President Hichilema said with a call for unity and promotion of peace and unity under which development can only be made possible.

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