Church also agrees that deadly stampede over food is due to poverty

Church also agrees that deadly stampede over food is due to poverty

(170306) -- LUSAKA, March 6, 2017 (Xinhua) -- People gather at the Olympic Youth Development Center where 8 people died in a stampede in Lusaka, Zambia, on March 6, 2017. At least eight people were killed on Monday while 28 others injured in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, during a stampede to collect food, the police said. (Xinhua/Cyril Banda) (wtc)

(170306) — LUSAKA, March 6, 2017 (Xinhua) — People gather at the Olympic Youth Development Center where 8 people died in a stampede in Lusaka, Zambia, on March 6, 2017. At least eight people were killed on Monday while 28 others injured in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, during a stampede to collect food, the police said. (Xinhua/Cyril Banda) (wtc)

img_1771The Council of Churches in Zambia says the death of Zambians during a stampede over free food from some church is a clear sign of unacceptable poverty under the PF regime.

Council Secretary General Susanne Matale further warned that Zambians must beware of organisations exploiting the poverty to ruined them to attend their services.

Rev Matale said:

‘The Council believes that this development is a sign of high poverty levels in the country which has driven people to extreme desperation to an extent of risking their lives in an effort to secure food for themselves.

This incident must serve as an eye opener to the Patriotic Front (PF) government that poverty levels in the country have reached alarming levels. Many signs of high poverty levels such as increased criminal activities have been overlooked by government despite countless reminders from ordinary citizens, the civil society and the church that the social-economic situation in the country is continuously deteriorating with no signs of improvement.

We believe that the people of Zambia are entitled to a dignified way of life and not struggle to a point of sacrificing their lives to secure food after attaining independence many years, a freedom which we expect to come with all other freedoms.

All the meaningful development which government is claiming to deliver to the people of Zambia especially infrastructure development across the nation is meaningless if they cannot afford the basic necessities of life for the Zambia citizens.

The Council wishes to implore all the Zambians to be on the lookout for organizations using the high poverty levels to entice them to attend their events where they use the platform to drive their agendas in the name of rendering help.

It is encouraging to note that government responded positively in this matter by suspending operations of the Church of Christ which caused the stampede. This development must serve as a warning to all unscrupulous organizations coming in the name of Christianity to take advantage of innocent people. Government must further ensure that all church events involving large gatherings are scrutinized to avoid a re-occurrence of such an incident.

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