WORLD leader of the Anglican Church Justin Welby has arrived in Zambia for a working visit. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England.
He is the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and diocesan bishop of the diocese of Canterbury. He is the 105th leader of the church.
The Anglican leader was received at Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday by the dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Canon Charlie Thomas, Anglican church bishop David Njovu, Archbishop Albert Chama and British High Commissioner Thomas Thornton, among others.
Archbishop Welby said since assuming office in 2012, his mission is to visit all the district offices around the world and that central Africa is his priority.
He said he will meet Anglican bishops, examine the future of the church and assess the impact of natural resources on the poor.
“I grew up in an oil-rich background and so I want to look at the impact of natural resources on the citizenry and how the Anglican Church is responding to the challenges of the people in need,” Archbishop Welby said.
The Anglican leader said he wants to see how the church is responding in a prophetic way to challenges facing the masses, especially on justice.
He said he will also look at wealth distribution among the poor and how Zambia is fairing as a democratic state.
And Archbishop Welby said Zambia has been a role model to most African countries in conducting effective and clean elections on the continent.
He said this when he paid a courtesy call on Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima at her office yesterday.
“My experience in the last 40 years I have been in Africa, Kenya in particular as a student, is that Zambia has been managing its electoral process very well. The transparency of the elections in this country should not be taken for granted,” the Archbishop said.
He also said the British government values and supports the management process of elections in Zambia.
He said ECZ should also ensure that it continues to play its role of controlling the country’s electoral process by bringing people together during and after elections.
And welcoming Archbishop Welby, Justice Mambilima said the commission will continue working together with faith-based organisations in ensuring that the country continues to have free and fair elections.
Archbishop Welby is scheduled to hold two services in Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
He is the third high-profile leader to visit Zambia in the last two weeks after Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao and Japanese Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko Akishino