CCZ General Secretary Suzanne Matale in a statement issued to QFM News has since encouraged government, to reflect seriously on their style of governance, their pronouncements, their priorities and provide the nation with a clear roadmap on where they are taking Zambia.
Reverend Matale says at the moment CCZ is concerned with the way government is handling the affairs of the nation and does not see how the citizens will be enabled to live dignified lives in their own country.
She says CCZ urges the government to come up with policies that will offer direction to the country and instill confidence in the citizens especially as a government which was ushered into power on a platform that people’s lives will improve according to the campaign messages during the run-up to elections in 2011.
Reverend Matale adds that the church leaders affiliated to the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) are sadness and deeply concerned at the prevailing economic, political and social situation affecting the people of Zambia as a result of government’s actions on issues that concern people’s lives.
She points out that the poverty levels have continued to rise due to economic hardships being experienced as a result of policies and pronouncements that government has made since coming into power.
She says government’s decision to remove the subsidies on fuel has resulted in the increase in the price of the commodity by a huge margin, which has culminated in the rise of the cost of goods and services, causing a strain on the majority of the vulnerable population who are already living in abject poverty.
Reverend Matale states that the only people who will benefit from the removal of fuel subsidies are ministers who are guaranteed free fuel, free telephones, free housing, and other free things as they will not feel the impact of the sky rocketing prices of goods and services as a result of government’s action.
She adds that the minimum wage which was imposed on employers last year has become null and void as the value of their increases has been diminished which means that even the few people in employment are back to where they were before the imposition of the minimum wage.
Reverend Matale further states that the anticipated salary increments for all civil servants in September 2013, will be an academic exercise as the buying power would have been greatly eroded by the time they start receiving new salaries.
She the Council of Churches in Zambia believes that government should have come up with a mechanism that would have allowed for fuel to remain affordable by cutting down on taxes and levies on fuel, and other unnecessary government expenditures such as on unwarranted appointments of deputy ministers who are being increased in number without limit.
And Reverend Matale says CCZ is disappointed with the manner the opposition parties are being depleted through enticement with money and good life in the government.
She says it is sad to hear a minister inviting people in the opposition to join the ruling party before ‘the honey dries up’.
She says the Members of Parliament who are crossing over to the ruling party are a let down to the nation and should not be trusted to offer good leadership to the Zambian people as their motive are now known which is money and good life for themselves.