AFRICA/ZAMBIA - Bishops: "Respect democracy"
Lusaka ( Agenzia Fides) - "The political environment in Zambia, today, is characterised by manipulation, patronage and intimidation of perceived government opponents" denounce the Bishops of Zambia in a press statement sent to Fides Agency. "We urge the government to stop using state security institutions to intimidate its own nationals. The police service in particular must be professional and impartial in carrying out their duties of maintaining law and order".
The Bishops urge policy makers to respect the democratic history of the Country and to put its resources at the service of all its inhabitants. The statement in particular criticizes the vast sums of money that have gone and continue to go into holding of by-elections. These funds could have given Zambians many schools and hospitals. Too many of the nation’s resources and time are wasted on politicking at the expense of real development, that "is not only undemocratic but also denies our Country the benefit of bright ideas that could be offered by many citizens not in positions of decision making".
At an economic level the statement expresses concern over the increase of cereal prices due in part to the abolition of subsidies to farmers, which could lead to food crisis.
As Zambia celebrates the golden jubilee of its political independence, the Bishops conclude by reaffirming their commitment to contributing to the creation of a prosperous and democratic Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/01/2014)
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