The Zambian High Commission in Windhoek in association with the Association of Zambians in Namibia (AZANA) held a national day of prayer and fasting at the Roman Catholic Hospital Hall in Windhoek on Sunday.
At the event Zambia’s High Commissioner to Namibia Sylvia Bambala Chalikosa said there are a number of compounding factors which necessitated the call for national solemn reflection.
“Zambia, a flourishing democracy, lost two sitting presidents and a former president within a short space of time,” she said.
Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC, died in office on August 19, 2008. Dr Frederick J. T. Chiluba died on June 18, 2011. Michael Chilufya Sata died while serving as republican president on October 28, 2015, four days after Zambia celebrated its 50th jubilee independence anniversary.
“Most recently, the country has been experiencing economically challenging times due to a significantly lower demand for, and the drop in the price of copper, Zambia’s traditional export, on the global market, particularly in the Euro Zone and in the Far East,” Chalikosa noted.
Furthermore, the country has not been spared the adverse effects of climate change, which have resulted in low rains, thereby impacting negatively on hydropower generation.
Consequently, there has been load shedding due to low water levels in the Kariba Dam, the high commissioner said.
“Disturbingly, in the midst of these challenges, some sections of the population have tended to issue statements expressive of hatred and division, contrary to our founding motto of One Zambia, One Nation,” she continued.
Sunday saw a nationwide day of prayer in Zambia as President Edgar Lungu called for divine intervention to save the African country’s currency, the kwacha, from a record drop.
All football matches were called off, with bars and restaurants forbidden from accepting customers for most of the day on Sunday.
The president’s call for a national day of prayer and fasting gained wide support from Zambia’s churches, which conducted prayers all across the country for the mostly Christian population of 15 million.
The authorities turned to God after the country’s economy experienced a host of problems, which caused the national currency, the kwacha, to plummet against the dollar by a record 45 percent in 2015.
Zambia’s main source of income, copper exports, suffered this year due to a global drop in commodity prices. The lack of rain affected the output of hydropower plants, causing electricity cuts for up to 14 hours a day across the country.
“Anxiety and distress prevail throughout the land,” Lungu said as he announced the day of prayer and fasting in September.“I personally believe that since we humbled ourselves and cried out to God, the Lord has heard our cry,” Lungu said in the address on Sunday. “I appeal to all of you to do your best and leave the rest to God.”
Lungu was expected to participate in a five-hour open-air prayer session together with top religious and political officials in the capital of Lusaka on Sunday.
Last year Namibia also held a national prayer day against violence against women.
The event was held at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura where the then president Hifikepunye Pohamba was joined by several cabinet ministers at the time.
At the main event in Windhoek, other speakers included varied leaders representing some of the major religions of the world such as Reverend Maria Kapere, Secretary General of the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Sheikh Abdullah Haroon, the late Sandra Tjitendero of the Baha’I faith, Rabbi Zvi Gorelick, Pastor Zelda van der Colf and Pastor Johnny Kitching.
New Era Reporter
2015-10-20 09:25:40 | 4 years ago