As Zambia's currency has swooned to record lows, the country's president called for a national day of prayer to reverse the country's fortunes, exacerbated by a prolonged slump in worldwide commodity prices and China's downturn.
Amid a plunge in the country's copper output and two credit downgrades, President Edgar Lungu called for a day of prayer and fasting, which took place on Saturday, to help reverse conditions. Last month, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the country's rating deeper into speculative territory, following Standard & Poor's downgrade in July.
Lungu's plea, however, has been met with widespread skepticism and outright hostility from within the country. Earlier this week, Zambia's labor minister, Fackson Shamenda, was quoted by Zambian publication The Post as saying that: "In our own wisdom, we have failed to do things. That is why we are asking for God's intervention."
However, the publication on Friday spoke to a major tribal leader, who denounced Lungu's Patriotic Front governing party as "idiots," and blistered the entire effort.
"To fast and pray for what; for an economic miracle to happen or what?" The Post quoted chief Ntambu of the country's North-Western Province as saying. "Is it God who caused those sufferings for you to go back to him and say, 'No you have done this and that and we want you to reverse your decision?' " he added.