HUNDREDS of Mulenga township residents in Kitwe yesterday held an eight-kilometre solidarity walk in support of President Banda’s home empowerment programme.
The residents led by the Association of the Voice for the Voiceless Poor, a non-governmental organisation, walked from Mulenga township to the central business district.
There was a traffic congestion on the Kitwe-Ndola dual carriageway for over an hour as motorists negotiated their way through the crowd.
Association chairperson John Kamanda said in a petition to President Banda that the organisation supports Government’s home empowerment policy and strongly condemns those opposed to the initiative.
“Your Excellency, as an association whose members look up to you for gestures like this one, we are puzzled to hear some people, especially clergymen, condemning your act of empowering more than 3,000 people on the Copperbelt with housing,” Mr Kamanda said.
He said the association cannot sit idly by and watch some disgruntled people attacking President Banda for empowering Zambians with accommodation.
“It is unacceptable that some clergymen are coming out strongly to attack President Banda for the home empowerment policy which they are calling a campaign strategy. We expect the clergy to defend President Banda each time he does good works because this is their calling,” Mr Kamanda said.He said the poor expect the church to be happy when Government empowers poor people with housing and it is unfortunate that some clergymen are criticisingMr Banda for his gesture.
“Your Excellency, there is no mountain between you and the clergy which can prevent them from seeing you in case they want to talk to you. There is no doubt that some clergymen will cause their members to lose confidence in the church,” Mr Kamanda said.
He said it is clear that some opposition leaders criticisingMr Banda for the gesture intend to grab the houses from the vulnerable if they are voted into office in the tripartite elections.
Kosamu Mulubwe, a resident of Mulenga township, said the President should not be distracted by his critics and he should continue to empower.