Church attributes poverty to illicit financial flows

The church has described as regrettable the continued illicit financial flows generated from Zambia’s mineral wealth which drains domestic resources necessary for development and poverty alleviation

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Speaking during a high level panel discussion on the state of affairs of the mining sector in Zambia, at the 5th Zambia Alternative Mining Indaba in Lusaka, Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) General Secretary Rev Suzanne Matale expressed concern that the country’s wealth was alluding the many Zambians and goes to feed people elsewhere as a result of the financial flows.

“We are in a campaign period now,if you critically look at the faces of the rally attendees , you will note the desperation , the thirsty for help, the pleading postures of people whose wealth alludes them,” Rev Matale said.

Rev Matale who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society Organisations stressed the urgency to address corruption regarding illicit financial flows adding that it weakens the link between resource wealth and poverty reduction. She said CSO’s agenda was to create a better environment for all people through its work of advocating,lobbying and reminding all concerned about their responsibility to act for a just world.

And speaking at the same function, Hambani Ngwenya Assistant Director, Mining audit at the Zambia Revenue Authority explained that mechanisms have been put in place to address the illicit financial flows in the mining sector , but however said results of the measures put in place will take sometime before they are made public.

At the end of the three day meeting, CCZ joined other CSO’s in demanding for equal distribution of wealth to benefit the poor majority especially in areas where mining activities take place through a declaration presented to Ministry of Mines representative at Government Complex after a peaceful process by activists carrying placards bearing messages of injustices in the mining industry.

The church with other Civil Society Organizations (CSO) has for the past 5 years been part of hosting the Zambia Alternative Mining Indaba, whose aim is to provide a platform for the marginalized affected communities in order for decision and policy making for mining to take full account of their realities,concerns and aspirations.

The ZAMI provides a safe place for constructive, multi stakeholder dialogue on mining and natural resource governance. It was held under the theme”Our Natural Resources Our Future , Extraction for Sustainable Development”.

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The Council of Churches in Zambia is an ecumenical umbrella organization of Christian churches that seeks to promote cooperation and fellowship between Christian churches and organizations in the nation. We therefore seek to bring together members and stakeholders for consultation and discussions in an effort to help form an enlightened Christian opinion on all issues affecting the spiritual, social and physical well being of Zambians.

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