Friday, September 03, 2010

Chingola priest rebukes Rupiah over donors

Chingola priest rebukes Rupiah over donors
By Misheck Wangwe in Kitwe
Fri 03 Sep. 2010, 04:00 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda should not deprive poor Zambians of donor funds in the name of protecting the country’s sovereignty, Chingola’s Twelve Apostles Nchanga Parish priest Charles Tembo has said.

In an interview on Wednesday, Fr Tembo said President Banda’s attacks on donors were baseless and aimed at shielding the wrongs of his government and former president Frederick Chiluba. He said it was morally wrong for President Banda to tell donors to pack their bags and leave Zambia for raising genuine concerns on matters of national interest.

Fr Tembo said donors appreciated the fact that Zambia was a sovereign country but needed the help in many areas especially governance.

He said Zambia would only see meaningful development if President Banda’s government started respecting the views of stakeholders and the donors who were touching the lives of many poor Zambians especially in rural areas.

“Without donors we don’t know what this country would have become and it’s immoral for a President to insult donors in the way that he President Banda did. We need to apologise on his behalf because I don’t think he knows the consequences of what he said,” Fr Tembo said.

“These donors know that Zambia is a sovereign state and they respect him as President. They are not in any way trying to make us their puppets, no. The fact is it is on record that leaders have embezzled public funds before and donors who give us this money have a right to raise concerns.”
Fr Tembo said President Banda needed to be reminded always that Zambia could not survive without donor aid.

He added that meaningful development would only be achieved in Zambia if government started listening to the voice of the people and donors who were serving the people with undoubted commitment.

Fr Tembo said the MMD government needed to understand that donors use taxpayers’ money from other countries and they had a right to express displeasure if government was not taking issues of governance seriously.

He said it would be unfortunate if donors pulled out of the country due to continued scathing attacks from the head of state.

Fr Tembo said the prayer of many Zambians was that President Banda make peace with donors for the best interest of the country.

Fr Tembo said Zambia was a democracy and people had a right to express themselves on matters of national interest.

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