By the year 2000, the poverty levels in Zambia were around 80% of the population. This is poverty that was evidenced by most people not having access to essential services for their basic needs. Hospitals lacked medicines, the health workers were demoralised with slave-like conditions of service. The educational system was in a similar crisis. Furthermore, the Country faced a rising wave of crime leading to insecurity. This situation was deemed to be untenable by the Bishops. The Bishops used the occasion of their annual plenary Conference to address these issues.
We, members of the Zambia Episcopal Conference assembled at Kapingila House, Lusaka, for our plenary meeting from 25th to 28th January 2000 have reflected on many issues of national interest. We wish to share our great concern on the following issues:
We note with sadness that instead of improving our educational system, Government’s recent policies seem to be only worsening the situation. In this vein, we are particularly concerned about the following:
While we appreciate Government’s efforts to rehabilitate the physical structures of our health institutions, we feel that this exercise alone not enough. Hence we are particularly concerned with: