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Zambian opposition MPs boycott Lungu's first speech to parliament

Zambian opposition MPs boycott Lungu's first speech to parliament

Zambia

Zambian opposition Members of Parliament on Friday boycotted President Edgar Lungu’s first speech to parliament since his re-election in August.

None of the 58 members of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) showed up for the opening of the parliamentary session.

The secretary general of UPND, Stephen Katuka, declined to comment on the boycott, AFP reports.

The UPND has described the August 11 as characterised by fraud and took legal action, but the appeal was rejected.

Edgar Lungu was declared winner of the election by 50.3% of the vote, 100,000 votes ahead of the UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema who polled 47.6%.

In his speech before parliamentary, the president denounced the post-election violence which he described as disheartening. About 150 people were arrested in the south of the country during the violence.

Lungu also pledged to fight against corruption which he said will not be tolerated. “We will not yield in the fight against corruption. No one will be spared. No one should tolerate corruption.”

President Lungu expressed commitment to diversify Zambia’s economy which is extremely dependent on the mining sector.

“Our priority is to boost agricultural production,” Lungu assured.

Zambia’s agricultural output has dropped to 3.2% in 2015 after having exceeded 10% in the 2000s. The country is dependent on copper mining and prices of the product has fallen in recent years.

Photo Credit: @rudemas (Twitter)

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