Monday, July 08, 2013

Govts have obligation to support the poor - clergy
By Fridah Nkonde
Sat 29 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

UNITED Church of Zambia St Andrew Reverend in charge Albert Bowa says all governments have an obligation to support the poor.

Commenting on Pope Francis' statement that the financial crisis should not be used as an excuse for failing to help the poor who are living in abject poverty due to financial speculation and corruption, Rev Bowa said the church always supported a government that looked after the poor.

"I strongly support the statement by Pope Francis. We should not use the financial crisis as an excuse to turn a deaf ear to the poor. People in the Western countries always have room for the poor. But in our nations where we have a greater percentage of people living in abject poverty, most people do not support the poor. Even the Bible encourages people to support the poor," Rev Bowa said.

He said people in power were not supposed to use other tactics to run away from their responsibilities of helping the poor.

Rev Bowa said the PF and its government campaigned on a platform of supporting the poor, adding that they had an obligation to help and support the poor.

"I am not talking about lazy people. I am talking about those that do not have anyone to depend on," he said.

Addressing participants at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) conference in Rome, Pope Francis said current levels of food production were sufficient.

"Yet millions of people are still suffering and dying of starvation. This is truly scandalous, the dictatorship of the economy and the spread of consumerist values should not be allowed to continue," stated Pope Francis.

"A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruit of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table."

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