ZAMBIA’S economy is in a coma and requires resuscitation and this won’t be an easy go before its funeral is announced, Bishop Simon Chihana has lamented. Bishop Chihana, the International Fellowship of Christian Churches president, said the suffering of Zambians was unbearable, freezing his sight as a clergyman who is in constant touch with the grassroots and underprivileged.
He noted that whilst the majority of the population was wallowing in poverty and in a lot of financial difficulties, there was a handful that seemed to smile each day, unfortunately owing to illicit monies obtained through mischievous business.
“As one of those people who is always with people on the ground, I am not blinking because of seeing people suffering so much. Unemployment is growing due to unsustainable businesses, companies are hardly getting by; they are failing to reach their targets and hence having a lot of delayed payments of salaries and company-to-company obligations such as suppliers and subcontracts,” Bishop Chihana said.
He regretted that the government had allowed corruption become the cornerstone of Zambia’s economy thus bringing a lot of misery to the country.
“Corruption has been imbedded in Zambia’s economy, therefore bringing a lot of hardships in all the 10 provinces of the country and this is what kicks out sitting governments because when there is no food on the table, dependents blame the bread winner and in turn the bread winner realises that this is not who he is as one who fails to provide for his family and he blames his employers and together they realise that it’s the man with a stronger muscle who has held everyone captive with poverty whilst his table is full of milk and honey,” Bishop Chihana said.
He said in the centre of such great poverty and joblessness, the government of President Edgar Lungu must take the Financial Intelligence Centre report extremely seriously by performing an in-house clean up.
“We have in the past read stories of the ministers resigning due to too much corruption in the government, such corruption that stinks heavily that those sitting nearby don’t care because even before they got into government, such behaviour was a normal activity,” he said.
Bishop Chihana noted that it was a grave mistake for the government of President Lungu to have allowed the huge business contracts to go to foreign companies who in turn externalise their profits to either their countries of origin or other nations.
He urged Zambians to be strong and rise to defend the FIC and other wings of government called to help curb corruption and other vices related to illicit monies.
“The other big mistake that the government of President Lungu has made is that the medium sized type of contracts are offered to some local people who are possibly incapacitated in performance. So they sell these contracts to foreigners who again externalise the profits and just remain with the working equipment in Zambia,” said Bishop Chihana.