Nothing stays or remains forever – and Edgar Lungu’s cash and carry politics have finally boomeranged!
For some time, the nation has been treated to endless ‘benevolence’ from Edgar and his minions. Whereas the government, treasury, seems to have no money to fund its institutions, the President and his ministers seem to have very deep pockets. Where the government fails they step in and make donations, Edgar and his ministers seem to be the financiers of first and last resort. And we questioned, where is this money coming from? And is this really the best way to fund public institutions?
Today, other citizens have come out in the open to question this regime’s endless cash bonanza in an economy in recession! Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) president Bishop George Lungu says the stance of the Catholic Church to decline the government’s ‘Church Empowerment Fund’ still stands. He has directed parishes and church institutions in Chipata diocese not to access the Fund from the government.
Bishop Lungu says those donations which are followed by cameras and speeches and appearing either on the national broadcaster or indeed private media, often with political overtones, should not be entertained.
“The source of the so-called church empowerment fund is not very clear, is not very well known. People need to know where this money is coming from and how it is going to be accounted for,” said Bishop Lungu, who is also Chipata diocese bishop. “…we have taken a stand to respectively decline receiving or accessing these funds. The main reasons include but they are not limited to the following; number one, that in view to the principles of social justice and the preferential option for the poor, the Church prefers to see the same money be channeled to other need areas. We are aware that Zambia has a huge debt that needs to be serviced and the effects of this is seen in the many economic difficulties the
country is currently facing. In addition, we have many retirees who have been desperately waiting for their hard-earned dues for many years, some have since died. Not only that, the Chipata City Council has had close to nine months of unpaid salary areas.”
There’s nothing good about this fund. These so-called empowerment schemes are nothing but a corrupt way of seeking political support for Edgar’s third term bid. Edgar has never explained the source of the money he has been dishing out. If the source of this money was clean there would be no secrecy about it. This is nothing but dirty money from corrupt sources. And it seems no corrupt persons and institutions will be left behind in receiving this corrupt money, including the Church.
It is encouraging that the Catholic Church has guided the flock over this poisoned chalice! Let PF find other civil means of irrigating its hopes and prospects for re-election but not through open fraud and corrupting all and sundry. Edgar’s empowerment initiatives have been nothing but a big lie to hoodwink our masses – a vehicle to retain power!
The Catholic Church’s position is a welcome checkmate to the PF manoeuvres to rig their way to victory in August!