NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) president Chishimba Kambwili says government should start taking practical steps to rebuild the economy because prayer alone will not help in any way.

And Kambwili says the National Day of Prayer and Fasting has not yielded any results as hatred among politicians is the order of the day.

Last week National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili said this year’s National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation would focus on the recovery of the economy and sustenance of national peace.

But in an interview, Kambwili said government needed to stop unnecessary borrowing and expenditure if the economy was to rebound.

“This year they say the prayers will be concentrated on praying for the economy. There is no economy that will rebound by prayer. The economy will rebound by doing what is right and making an effort. You cannot go to God and pray that I want to be a teacher without ever going to school. God helps when you are taking action, you are taking a step. When people are telling you to stop unnecessary borrowing, they say ‘we are going to borrow’. Look at what is happening now, the President is all over the place promising development. On Friday he called the Secretary to Treasury to find money which is not in the budget. For how long are we going to accumulate debt in this country? Because you are doing things haphazardly wherever you go, you promise you are going to build a clinic, you pick a phone ‘Secretary to Treasury find money’ that is what we call politics of appeasement. That is what we call chi pante pante (uncoordinated) administration. No proper planning, no proper budgeting is as good as telling the Bank of Zambia print money. Then you want to go ask God to help your economy when you are doing wrong things,” Kambwili said.

Kambwili said government should apologize to the people of Zambia for putting the economic on a wrong trajectory.

“We must do actions that will help the economy to recover. What we need are practical measures. A paradigm shift from the rhetoric that we have been treated to from running a country to proper economic management, prudent expenditure, avoid unnecessary costs. What we expect the government to say is that ‘people of Zambia we are very sorry we have put you into debt, we are very sorry we took a wrong trajectory in economic recovery and we are going to do the right thing to put the country right on track’. Stop this politics of appeasement where you are, you promise something when you know that there is no money. You cannot go and make a mistake deliberately and go and pray, I mean you are abusing God. You don’t pray for the economy, you take a step and ask God to help you with your own plan,” Kambwili said.

And Kambwili said PF’s behavior was on the opposite side of Christian values.

“The behavior of these in governments shows the opposite of the Christian values. The Christian values demand that you do an to others what you want others to do an to you. The Christian value says love your neighbor as thyself. Do these people practice these Christian values? The answer is a big no! Nobody in this country, despite the Constitution giving a provision for the rights of assembly, rights of free speech, nobody is allowed free speech, nobody is allowed freedom of assembly. These leaders are very vindictive and they have been harassing citizens with impunity. Everybody who speaks to the contrary when they are not happy he is arrested, intimidation is the order of the day,” Kambwili noted.

“This government has been accusing the opposition, particularly the UPND, of being violent, leaving their own violent cadres scot free. Look at what happened [when] Jay Jay the young man went to the police [and] fueled aggravated robbery, attacked the police and stole their phone. That is aggravated robbery, he is charged with an offence of aggravated assault. Mucheleka and two others merely went to question how the NRCs issuance was, they are charged with aggravated robbery and they are still languishing in prison. When an opposition leader is arrested, he is never given police bond at the police station. You have to remain in cells for close to a week and then you go and apply for bail which generally the police should just call you if they want to effect an arrest, the effect an arrest and the give you police bond and you go home, but they will keep you in detention even delay taking you to court. But when a PF Minister, cadre or affiliate of the PF is arrested five minutes later he is given police bond, now where are the christian values?”

Meanwhile, Kambwili said the National Day of Prayer and Fasting had not yielded any result as there was more hatred in the country.

“Corruption is the order of the day, does Christianity teach and promote corruption? Segregation is the order of the day. For all contracts in government, now it has even extended to mining companies and now private companies who are threatened if they deal with certain individuals, all business is now for the PF cadres, where are the christian values? When there are by elections, corruption in giving mealie meal by the DMMU, giving money out for people to vote is the order of the day, where are the Christian values? So in a nutshell this day of national prayer has not yielded any result,” said Kambwili.

“To the contrary, people in government have behaved more unchristian before this date was declared as a public holiday. There is more hatred in this country than before, there is no tolerance, there is no reconciliation, there is no brotherhood in this country. Those boys who were insulting my mother they move with the SG of the PF but they have not been arrested. A person was killed here Luanshya, Obert, the people that beat up Obert are known not even one has been called by the police for questioning. Then you want to go and say let us go and pray for reconciliation?”