Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Claims that Empowerment Funds are Bribes ahead of Election is a concern-President Lungu

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President Lungu has assured the Nation that the PF Government will continue working closely with the Catholic Church which has worked well with Government since 1964.

He said Government had no plans to antagonize Archdiocese of Chipata Bishop George Lungu for banning those under his justification from accessing the well-intended COVID Relief Empowerment Fund for churches.

President Lungu said Government would engage Bishop Lungu to understand his reservation on the Fund which has been extended to the churches.
“It is good that other Bishops in the Catholic Church allow their priests to accept Government empowerment programs especially that the Church remains Government’s great partner in the provisinon of services such as education and health,” the President said.

President Lungu said this when he held a meeting with Apostolic Nuncio Gianfranco Gallone at State House in Lusaka today attended by PF National Chairperson Samuel Mukupa and PF Secretary General Davies Mwila.

“We’re concerned that Bishop Lungu asked priests under his jurisdiction not to accept the empowerment fund claiming that they are bribes ahead of election but it is the church that asked Government to be considered in the empowerment programs because of the effects of Covid 19 pandemic,” he said.

And Apostolic Nuncio Nuncio Gianfranco said the PF Government and the Catholic Church enjoyed excellent and cordial relations.

“I am aware that the church and Government through the Ministry of Religious Affairs met in October last year and agreed on the Covid Relief Fund for churches of which each Bishop had their own jurisdiction on how they wanted to handle church matters within their territory,” he said.

The Nuncio said there was need for continued dialogue and collaboration between the Government and the church in order to continue providing services to the people of Zambia.

“It is good that the Government of Zambia has recognised the efforts of the church in national development and I wish to thank you President Lungu for the announcement by Government that the clergy and health workers will be among the first to receive the Covid Vaccines,” he said.
He said health workers, priests and other church leaders meet a lot of people hence the need to be among the first group to receive the vaccine.
And President Lungu later took his guest around State House Grounds for game viewing and fish ponds.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Right thinking Zambians have expressed that concern all along and Bishop Lungu is right ,these funds are voter bribes disguised as “empowerment funds”

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  2. Question. If the relief money is given to the church, does that money force people to vote for the ruling party? Answer. No. So why refuse when the power in voting is in the hands of voters and not in the relief money. I don’t see sense in what the Bishop Lungu was trying to do.

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  3. @ Sthandwa #3 you’re wrong , its all about ethics in governance.Those in power should be held to higher standards and NOT the largely uneducated poor voters.

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  4. Clearly the name Lungu is tainted: President Lungu and Bishop Lungu, brothers in corrupt crime! If the president hands out corrupt money, and that is then accepted by the bishop, both have got dirty hands!

  5. SO WHY HAS LUNGU NOT PRINTED MONEY FOR CIVIL SERVANTS, PENSIONERS, STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YEARS AND NEED IT MOST. WE HAVE A PANDEMIC WHICH THREATENS OUR EXISTENCE, WHAT HAS HE DONE, WHILE OTHER LEADERS ARE WORKING DAY AND NIGHT TO CUSHIONING THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19. WELL AS VOTER WE WILL NOT BE STUPID FOREVER AND FORGETFUL SURELY.

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  6. The president needs to understand that it’s the timing of not just the funds but the projects around the country that is concerning. Why do you have to wait until elections before announcing major infrastructure projects if that’s not electoral bribery? The KK international airport is an example of a project which has been pushed back deliberately to steal votes from Lusaka. We know the timing of this project coincide with the announcement of the airline therefore considered as a big election ticket. We are watching you. UNIP, power mulilo.

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  7. PF administration does not read History.

    PF time out.

    “Living in a bubble means to live in one’s own world, completely isolated from what is happening all around. A person living in a bubble can’t see or perceive events around him as he is too engrossed in the little world he has created for himself”.

    “Fairness and Justice: This means to be fair and just in dealing with everyone; treat everyone equally. Make decisions without playing favorites and don’t take advantage of others. Don’t blame others carelessly or unjustly. Take only your fair share, take turns, and share with others”.

  8. THIS IS JUST GETTING WORSE ………..
    THERE IS NO BETTER SAYING THAN……… THAT POWER CORRUPTS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. The Church should just get that money but vote for people of their own free choice in that booth. You will be alone in that booth. Vote for a person you think will develop this country. Remember in 2011 people got lots of money from the MMD but voted otherwise.

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  10. When did the church need empowerment? Churchs are supported by their members due to their spiritual connection with their savior. Don’t take citizens for fools Mr president. If you want true employment, give bursaries to students. Primary & secondary schools should be properly equipped. Please stop stealing our money to bribe voters in the name of employment.

  11. @ Jacob, we strongly believe in tolerance and the power of the ballot paper. You are entitled to your opinion, however resorting to violence has never yielded any tangible benefits for anyone. We are peaceful people. Show some respect for the Zambian Army for protecting our freedom.

  12. You claimed we had climate change issues, there was no empowerment on the ground, Covid has been with us and there was no empowerment until boom just this year now there is enhanced and empowerment funds every where. Government cannot afford to buy a bus for CBU but an individual can. With these same sudden empowerment funds, why don’t you restore meal allowance to struggling university students.

  13. The question to this ignorant LAZY man is where he is getting the money from when he is failing to repay EUROBOND

  14. And non alert priests are receiving this so called empowerment with open arms. This cant be, and especially that in most of these churches there is no accountability, it is early Christmas. Bishop Lungu’s questions are very mature, sober and genuine. Why cant these funds be given to retirees who worked for this money and are dying daily without getting their hard earned money which they faithfully worked for for years, some of these churches are very new businesses. and restore meal allowances. Just because there is a belief that there are numbers in the churches and we will get votes.

  15. Was this Money allocated thru the National Budget? Why give Money to Churches with 4 months to go b4 the August 12 Elections when Pensioners are not paid their Retirement Money,Clinics and Hospitals have no medicines,students bursaries are not paid etc? Where is this Money coming from? If it’s being printed why are they dishing out this Money to buy votes?This is an Election Season so PF is bribing Voters to vote for them on August 12. This kind of Empowerment is Bribery and Corruption. Period.

  16. Retirees are being butchered by the sun and the rains fighting for their money at the ministry of justice every day without getting their money and churches who have hardly worked for anything get the grants, not even loans, grants, and you heard me right.

  17. Revisit this manna being given to churches and identify more needy areas, retirees need not beg nor fight for their money please

  18. Why is this Apostolic Nuncio always in state house each time the government seem to differ with our Bishops. He always seem to side with the powers that be and NOT his weak flog. He and Bishop Alick Banda are a let down to us. They together fought ba Mpundu and now they are fighting our fearless
    Bishop George Lungu. There is no manner on earth. Nothing is for free in this world even for us Christians believe that Jesus Christ paid a high price for our salvation and that is death on the cross. Never in our mind should we be fooled that donors give us money for free. Never. They have already taken a loot.

  19. My wise president. Great response to that f00lish bought priest. You cannot hide f00lishness no matter how much you try. That priest was promised heaven on earth by upnd if he did as he did. He is a greedy m0r0n ready to make poor people suffer by refusing help and yet he still gets offering from them.

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  20. if your priest is accessing “empowerment funds” from govt then why should you continue giving offering and tithe to such a priest or pastor, better that offering and tithe you give it directly to the underprivileged, widows and orphans.

  21. Health worker and teachers should be first to receive vaccines. PF will use anything to campaign, even vaccines suwa….???

  22. And Apostolic Nuncio Nuncio Gianfranco said the PF Government and the Catholic Church enjoyed excellent and cordial relations.

    “I am aware that the church and Government through the Ministry of Religious Affairs met in October last year and agreed on the Covid Relief Fund for churches of which each Bishop had their own jurisdiction on how they wanted to handle church matters within their territory,” he said.

  23. “President Lungu said this when he held a meeting with Apostolic Nuncio Gianfranco Gallone at State House in Lusaka today attended by PF National Chairperson Samuel Mukupa and PF Secretary General Davies Mwila.”
    This tells you that it is a bribe. Where were the ministers?

  24. KZ and his “wise president”…… HAHAHAHAAA what a joke. Well it will soon be August 12 and you will BOTH be in PRISON for CORRUPTION, THEFT, THEFT BY SERVANT and I can think of another twenty charges.

  25. We’ll keep receipts. Keep spewing that nonsense. Lungu and PF are moving too fast for themselves. They keep tripping over their own katumbu. Those who received bags of mealie meal, are you still eating from the same bag till now?

  26. Just look at who was present at the meeting. All PF functionaries without any government functionaries. Is this money being released by the PF? These are tax payer funds but PF will take credit and use that to campaign. That’s what makes them a bribe, simple.

  27. I am wondering how sustainable these Covid -19 related programs will last. Taking into considerations the concerns advanced by Bishop George Lungu has some point. What is happening to the many govt departments which are mandated to provide social services failing to perform yet we have donations being made here and there and who will be monitoring the implementation or the activities in applications of such donations. The question that begs answers is if the national treasury is struggling to meets its obligations then where is the money that is being dished coming from? I pray that if the donations are being done in good faith then let the trend continue even after PF is re elected as their vision is to rule up to 2026 and even beyond. From the look of things the PF is heavily dug in…

  28. @No Corruption Zambia, it seems KZ runs this country. No wonder he
    addresses President Edgar Lungu as “boi”, according to sources at State House.

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  29. @Common Sense, power is worse than dobo, it makes you think you can hide behind your finger.
    Well, let’s all seriously bring all this to an end, any thing beyond this will be catastrophic. We need to reverse the great damage, suffering and mediocre we have been subjected to.

  30. The Bishop stated his reservations in his letter to his Catholic faithful of Chipata Diocese. I don’t understand why you want to engage him. Is it by fire by force?

  31. The chief briber, ECL, is just digging himself deeper into the hole by these latest utterances and manoeuvers. Empowerment is meant to bring out the potential and enable people to develop the skills that they need and will use to improve and enrich their livelihoods. It is meant to be sustainable. What ECL and his PF cohort have been doing is nowhere near that – going around a market dishing out a couple of 100 kwacha, or a bag of mealie meal here and there for the ‘lucky ones’ and calling it ’empowerment’. What about tomorrow and the day after? Even a toddler can define what is going on better than a lot of misguided members of this PF regime.

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