Catholic Bishops say Public Order Act is shameful, warn against vulgar language and hate speech

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Catholic Bishops 172

The Catholic Bishops in Zambia say it is a shame that the country still has the Public Order Act 25 years after returning to multiparty politics and 52 years after independence.

And the Bishops have warned Government against promoting hate speech and vulgar language ahead of the August 11th general elections.

The Bishops stated that it is shameful that the Public Order Act is still with around as a bequest from the British colonial era which designed it for the oppression of political opponents.

In their latest Pastoral Letter titled ‘Let there Be Light Among Us’ issued today at Kapingila House, the Bishops said political party leaders at all levels must commit themselves to a peaceful electoral process and the control of their members.

“Coming from 2015 into 2016, what we often hear from political leaders is vulgar language and hate speech against each other. This does not give us hope for a clean and peaceful electoral process as we go towards the 11th August 2016 tripartite elections,” the letter read.

“What really are our law reforms focusing on? Is it not to deal with this obnoxious colonial piece of legislation?

The Bishops also implored Government to ensure that no Zambian dies of hunger in light of the unfavourable rain pattern the country is experiencing.

“Zambia is experiencing unfavourable rain pattern. This pattern shows that the country’s food security will be under extreme pressure. In the case of calamity such as this, we urge the Zambian Government to plan ahead so that no Zambian citizen should go without food this year,” the letter read.

The Bishops said relevant government ministries should mobilize resources to assist those who will be in dire need of help.

“However, food relief should be not used to gain political mileage. We call for solidarity on those who will have surplus, as we are urged by the St. James the Apostle to demonstrate our faith by works of mercy, especially the work of sharing with the needy (James 2: 14-23).”

Below is the full Pastor Letter issued by the Catholic Bishops

 

LET THERE BE PEACE AMONG US

“I will make peace flow to her like a river …” (Isaiah 66:12)

Pastoral Statement on the State of the Nation 2016

To all Catholics and people of good will in Zambia!
We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

PREAMBLE

1. As is our tradition, we hold the first plenary meeting in January of every year. It is the moment of grace during which we reflect and deliberate on our task as shepherds of the flock of the Catholic faithful in Zambia. In addition, we seize the occasion to review and evaluate the context within which we exercise our ministry of evangelization in order to discern our relevance to society as a Church. As pastors of the Church and teachers in the matters of faith and morals, we always feel duty bound to teach on issues affecting our faithful and the people of good will, for “woe to us if we do not preach the word of God in and out of season” (I Cor 9:16; 2 Tim 4:2).

2. As we begin 2016, we thank God for the gift of life and for the enduring sustenance he bestows on us and his gracious mercy. We thank God for the relative peace in our country even when we sometimes take it for granted and engage in behaviours that threaten our God given gift of peace.

3. This year, should be an opportunity for reflection as individuals and communities to commit ourselves to the cause of promoting the common good. We also need to do an honest soul searching to discern our successes, missed opportunities and mistakes so that the product of our honest reflection becomes our stepping stone for a successful 2016.

4. Our country is moving towards tripartite elections. Zambians should be looking forward to this occasion with joy and great expectation. Ideally, elections are supposed to provide an opportunity of choosing our desired representatives in Councils, Parliament and a President of our choice in peace and tranquillity. Zambia does not lack experience in elections having returned to competitive multiparty elections twenty five years ago in 1991. The August 2016 tripartite elections will be the fifth major election even without including the numerous by-elections Zambia has had at all levels.

5. Whereas we have pulled through all these elections, the political culture that persistently clouds our election does not depict a maturing democracy and maturing democrats. Zambian politicians still suffer from a gross hangover of a one party state mentality where the essence of political competition was seen as the quest to annihilate their opponents completely and at all cost. Zambia is paying a great price through political hooliganism and apparently the leadership in all our political parties has failed to uproot political violence. In some cases they actually seem to encourage and fan it by inflammatory speeches. We also don’t see perpetrators of violence in political parties punished by their own leadership. Police must sternly but impartially apply the law to quell violence. We appeal for a new political spirit and a democratic culture among our political leaders and their members. Let us make 2016 different in terms of providing a better and tolerant political environment.

OUR HOPES AND CONCERNS FOR 2016

Political Landscape

6. We applaud the nation that, even with the persistent culture of intolerance in our politics, Zambia is still a functional multiparty democracy with a plural political environment where the space for citizen participation through organized groups is possible.

7. We however decry the failure by the Zambian people to assume a rooted democratic culture of tolerating each others’ views and political choices. Political parties in Zambia have failed to show good democratic credentials which they should put into practice. Coming from 2015 into 2016, what we often hear from political leaders is vulgar language and hate speech against each other. This does not give us hope for a clean and peaceful electoral process as we go towards the 11th August 2016 tripartite elections. Political party leaders at all levels must commit themselves to a peaceful electoral process and the control of their members.

8. When Zambia returned to multiparty politics in 1991, there were high expectations from the public for legal reforms to create laws that are consistent with the new democratic dispensation. After so many aborted processes and huge expenditure of public resources, the President took a bold step and assented to the amendments of our Republican Constitution on 5th January 2016. This was despite the unresolved contest with stakeholders on the process and mode of adoption. The question now arises as to what next? Government has not given any road map for the post assenting period with respect to the application of the new Constitution. Even as we move towards August elections, the new Constitution has implications that impinge on the elections and this should be looked at. There is already a fierce, speculative and uninformed debate in the public domain on the contents of the new constitution, its implications and ramifications. The public needs to be informed and educated on this.

9. Further, even when the constitution has been assented to, there have been no efforts to make it easily accessible and affordable to the majority Zambians. Only a few privileged people have had access to it. The questions we are asking are: For whom is this constitution meant? Is it only for a few elite or all citizens countrywide? What about the majority in the rural areas most of whom are in extreme poverty? What about those who cannot read English? If the President made this constitutional assent in good faith, we appeal to him to prevail over relevant ministries and government departments to popularize the new constitution and publicise the post assent constitutional roadmap.

10. Prior to the enactment of the constitution, the government promised the public that those articles that would be left out shall be subjected to the referendum that would run concurrently with the tripartite elections. We are concerned that the government is now changing its position on the question of holding the referendum concurrently with tripartite elections. Sadly, the Bill of Rights has been sidelined. Many of the constitutional changes we need to make that could improve the people’s quality of life and dignity hinge on reforming the bill of rights. It is imperative that a clear and well defined roadmap on the proposed referendum be presented to the nation.

11. We are very concerned about the selective application of the Public Order Act by the Police Service. In many cases, it is applied almost always in favour of the ruling party and those they favour. This disadvantages opposition political parties. It is a shame that 25 years after returning to multiparty politics and 52 years after independence, the Public Order Act is still with us as a bequest from the British colonial era which designed it for the oppression of political opponents. What really are our law reforms focusing on? Is it not to deal with this obnoxious colonial piece of legislation?

12. A new dangerous phenomenon that has cropped up in the Zambian politics is that of regionalism and tribalism. Our founding mothers and fathers invested a lot of energy to ensure that Zambians see and treat each other as brothers and sisters regardless of tribe, race or religion. Why should this be an issue in our politics today? Nobody chose or chooses which tribe they are born in. It is our God-given identity but with a common factor that we are all born in his image and likeness (Cf. Gen 1: 26 – 27). We should all be proud of our ethnic roots and love each other as God’s children. No tribe is more valuable or important than the other. What makes us great is our unity in diversity and we should all thank God for it.

13. We are aware that this whole tribal and ethnic talk is fanned by politicians for selfish reasons of political expediency. Politicians must bear in mind that if Zambia is set on fire, they will have nobody to govern.

Economic Ills and their Social Ramifications

14. From 1991, Zambia adopted a liberal economy with the promise to bring back the economy to prosperity and dignified lives for majority of Zambians. Poverty levels, particularly rural poverty, have escalated.

15. The transition from 2015 into 2016 can be classified as a challenging period in as far as livelihoods of Zambians is concerned. The cost of living has gone up due to escalation in inflation. We are experiencing massive loss of jobs for bread winners and households are being left with no income. Although the major cause in the slump of the economy has been attributed to external factors, and while appreciating what the government is doing to offset the challenge, this situation must be arrested locally.

16. We have said before that an economy should serve the people and not the other way round (Catholic Bishops of Zambia, Pastoral Letter “Hear the cry of the poor”, 1993 # 18). The success of any economy should not just be measured through GDP growth but the positive effect on the livelihoods of people and the narrowing of the gap between the rich and the poor. This is a mark of success of any particular economy.

17. Whereas we hear excuses from leaders as to the cause of this predicament, we are also seeing bad stewardship and lack of prudence in the way public resources are being managed. Government should demonstrate commitment to good stewardship of financial resources during this time. It should walk the talk.

18. We also strongly appeal to all companies and employers that before retrenchments are carried out, other measures to achieve financial solvency must be attempted. It is morally unjustified to deprive someone of the opportunity for work without attempting alternative measures that can mitigate job losses. It appears that at times, workers in the mining industry are being held at ransom as human shields for the companies to negotiate favourable tax regimes with government. Government must at all time have its priority to protect its people.

A Duty of All to Our Common Home

19. Zambia is experiencing unfavourable rain pattern. This pattern shows that the country’s food security will be under extreme pressure. In the case of calamity such as this, we urge the Zambian Government to plan ahead so that no Zambian citizen should go without food this year. The relevant government ministries should mobilize resources to assist those who will be in dire need of help. However, food relief should be not used to gain political mileage. We call for solidarity on those who will have surplus, as we are urged by the St. James the Apostle to demonstrate our faith by works of mercy, especially the work of sharing with the needy (James 2: 14-23).

20. The climate change calls us to re-examine the way we take care of our common home, the earth. Pope Francis cautions us that if we do not take personal as well as corporate responsibility for the earth which is our home, we will destroy the home for our future generation. He invites all of us to cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, in order to protect our environment (Laudato si, 2015, #14).

21. We are concerned that some multinational companies are indiscriminately using our natural resources to satisfy the markets leaving behind great human and environmental liabilities such as the depletion of natural resources, pollution and deforestation. Government must put in place strong monitoring measures to monitor the exploitation of natural resources in Zambia by investors both foreign and local.

22. As we have stated before (Pastoral statement, “That they may have abundant life”, 2012 # 13), it is imperative that mining and logging companies contribute to a natural resources fund that could be used to resuscitate the depleted environment in a more tangible and endurable manner for the benefit of us since we are experiencing the effect of the environmental crisis.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Political Parties and Politicians

23. We want to see genuine commitment to democratic values from all political parties. All political leaders should renounce violence and hate speech. They must educate their members to respect other players and recognize their rights. They should focus on issues in their campaigns rather than making personal attacks. Political parties must choose candidates of good standing who are committed to the promotion of the common good.

The Government

24. The Government is responsible for the welfare of Zambians. Among the duties of the government are; to guarantee peace and security for all, to respect people’s liberties and to promote a genuine and non-discriminatory rule of law. We urge our leaders in government to be the torch-bearers in the promotion of true reconciliation and peace. In this election year, we appeal to the Government and to the ruling party to realize that they have a serious responsibility to ensure that the concerns of all key players are adequately addressed.

District Commissioners

25. At the time the office of the District Commissioner (DC) was created, the nation was informed that these appointees would be civil servants and not politicians. Even when their role and value is still obscure to the public, we see the DCs as full time politicians of the ruling party. They act and work as party cadres wherever they are and using government resources. Their role in this electoral process must be watched and seriously scrutinised.

The Youth

26. Youths are supposed to be leaders of tomorrow but they have to start exercising leadership today. We advise the youths to claim their genuine political space in the electoral process. They should refuse to be used as mere tools of violence by politicians. We appeal to the youth to accept and tolerate divergent views.

The Media

27. We call upon the media to be professional by reporting truthfully, objectively and factually as they inform the public. We urge them to provide equitable coverage in the electoral process and avoid being fronts of partisan politics. We want to see a media landscape that is not polarized where the public media is pro-ruling party while the private media is pro-opposition parties.

28. We urge the public media to be professional, ensure full and fair coverage of all political parties. We also want to see a private and community based media that remain professional, accommodative and inclusive in its covering of issues. Whichever media platform one uses, should not fuel hate speech or insults in the name of the right to freely express oneself. We also want a responsible use and reception of social media.

The Church

29. The role of the Church is to be the conscience of the nation. We urge all Christians to use their prophetic voice in their communities to promote unity in the country. We urge them to refuse any politician to use their churches and liturgical functions as campaign forums. It is the duty of all Christians to use their prophetic voice to denounce all forms of fraud in the electoral process. As we have stated before: “All the members of the Church must strive to ensure that the gospel values of love, reconciliation, tolerance, social justice, fairness, the common good, and equality are promoted in our political and economic life” (Cf. Catholic Bishops, Pastoral letter: Building for Peace, 1996 # 12).

30. We call upon our fellow church leaders to remain non-partisan yet vigilant. They must also keep the prophetic voice alive to denounce all forms of electoral malpractice and political violence.

31. Likewise, we appeal particularly to our own catholic priests to remain non-partisan. The Church law is very clear on this (Cf. Canon Law 285 and Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2442). It is morally wrong for the catholic priest to use the pulpit to campaign for, or de-campaign any political party or parties. In as much as we welcome Catholic politicians to celebrate Mass with us, they must not give them any platform to speak during liturgical celebrations.

Special Appeal

32. We call upon our brothers and sisters to take this year as the year of tolerance and love. In the words St. Paul the Apostle, we make a special appeal to you to “make [our] joy complete by being of a single mind, one in love, one in heart and one in mind. Nothing is to be done out of jealousy or vanity; instead, out of humility of mind everyone should give preference to others, everyone pursuing not self-interest but those of others” (Phi 2:2-4). Above all “do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody” (Rm 12:18).

We end with the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”

May the peace of the Lord remain with you all!

Issued at Kapingila House, Lusaka, Zambia on 23rd January, 2016 and signed by:

Most Rev. Telesphore-George Mpundu, Archbishop of Lusaka and ZEC President
Rt. Rev. Alick Banda – Bishop of Ndola and ZEC Vice-President
Most Rev. Ignatius Chama, Archbishop Kasama and Apostolic Administrator of Mpika
Rt. Rev. Raymond Mpezele – Bishop of Livingstone
Rt. Rev. George Cosmas Zumaile Lungu – Bishop of Chipata
Rt. Rev. Charles Kasonde, Bishop of Solwezi
Rt. Rev. Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, OMI – Bishop of Mongu
Rt. Rev. Clement Mulenga, SDB – Bishop of Kabwe
Rt. Rev. Patrick Chilekwa Chisanga, OFM Conv. Bishop of Mansa
Rt. Rev. Moses Hamungole, Bishop of Monze
Rt. Rev. Benjamin Phiri – Auxiliary Bishop of Chipata
Rt. Rev. Aaron Chisha – Bishop Emeritus of Mansa
Mons. Justin Mulenga – Bishop Elect of Mpika

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52 COMMENTS

  1. This is very wise counsel from the Bishops. They just fall short of saying Edgar Lungu despite being a lawyer has failed and is encouraging lawlessness with is divisive tactics of blacking out opposition from public media, using Police and PoA to harass the opposition, but above all not having a plan for the country and blaming everything on global matters.#Lungumustgo

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    • It’s heart breaking for Zambians to be asking for freedom in their own country. Let’s get rid of these thugs, failures and visionless people from positions of responsibility. Where’s the leadership of this nation, where are we Zambians? Are we going to stand aloof and watch our country degenerate into chaos?

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    • “Coming from 2015 into 2016, what we often hear from political leaders is vulgar language and hate speech against each other”………..this statement is both for the gov’t and opposition.

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    • So it is clear that PF is leaving, this is confirmation by the Catholics except the Ex-communicated Fr. Bwalya.

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    • The church you assisted PF to ascend to the throne. You must equally help to undo this wrong, in the open.

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    • What I have always warned the police about is now happenning. When people feel that the police is colluding with the ruling party to take away their freedoms they react and take matters in their own hands.

      In Choma police tear gassed people waiting for HH and people turned on the police and beat them severely injuring two officers.

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    • THANK YOU CATHOLIC LEADERS FOR STANDING FOR THE TRUTH. THE TRUTH SHALL SET ZAMBIANS FREE. PF AND LUNGU GOVERNMENT ARE USING DRACONIAN LAWS TO SUPPRESS THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE. WHY DOESN’T ZNBC GIVE A BALANCED POLITICAL COVERAGE TO BOTH RULING AND OPPOSITION PARTIES? WHY SHOULD WE STILL CONDONE SUCH BIASES IN A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY LIKE ZAMBIA? LUNGU IS A HIGHLY DISHONEST LEADER. NOW IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR US ZAMBIANS TO CHANGE LEADERSHIP. THERE IS NO SANITY IN UPND THAN IN ANY OTHER PARTY. VOTE UPND. VOTE HH!

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  2. The Church has spoken, let those with ears hear what God is saying through his people – letters like this one usually are not good for the government in power.

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    • Indeed the church has counseled and it is with the highest level of caring for the country and its people. However as the church is addressing the citizenry with the love of God, Lungu must stop beating about the bush and trying to be tactful over the tribal issue that is only perpetuated by politicians topped by himself! His team of Chishimba Kambwili, Mumbi Phiri, Davies Chama, Frank Bwalya and, Sunday Chanda must be told to stop it! By decree Lungu can outlaw tribal talk but he is in the fore front bringing it up with this team of misfits including one Chilufya Tayali because it seemed to resonate well against the people of Southern Province for other regions to build hate for a winning protest vote! Ordinary Zambians are more intelligent compared to politicians who continue…

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    • contd…. propagating tribalism as a divisive tool among regions and the very people they want to serve! Until PF took over, predecessor presidents and their party structures never engaged in tribal talk for it was not an issue! Then comes PF and all of a sudden everyone has to be conscious of their tribe, region and who they associate with! Detractors may say what they like but they better know who they are when their agenda is to push talking tribe! Thank you Catholic Bishops.

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  3. Bishops in Zambia should be more mindful of the breakdown in Zambian Political field. Multiparty is in danger of creating genocide. Also they complain of hate speech which is an outcome from the very system. POA is not ideal but it must be a stop gap measure to a more advanced Democratic environment. It would be chaos if there was no control of Rabid opposition to protect the rights of winning Parties to rule. Shamefully unrurly Leaders like HH do not even recognise the current gov’t and HE the President. Please stay out of Politics except to protect the Human Rights of Ordinary citizens. As Priests you know the temptations before Party Leaders and wide is the road for greedy and unscrupulous Leaders. Please Pray for the Weak. Pardon typos

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    • @Patriot abroad
      Why do you think the people should be controlled instead of them controlling themselves? You don’t seem to know and value freedom at all. Human beings should be at liberty to pursue their own interest as long as they don’t commit lawlessness. We already have laws that can tackle lawlessness. Look, ECL and his team are campaigning and yet the opposition is being prevented from doing the same? Is that what POA should do? Are you sure you can’t see anything wrong with this? In a multi party dispensation, divergent views must be tolerated and people be given the freedom to share and/or hear and buy into what is out there whether you think it is right or not. Let the best message win; this is what will propel our country into development. We don’t want leadership imposed on us…

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    • @Patriot abroad
      Cont’d

      We don’t want leadership imposed on us. ABASH DICTATORSHIP! ABASH THUGGERY! ABASH BRUTALITY AND ALL LIKE VICES!

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    • Rabid opposition? Controlling rights of winning party? Surely you jest. There are numerous laws that cover your concerns. Out and out dictatorial and undemocratic POA is used for underhanded purposes. Surely a patriot has an underlying code that should not have me mistaking those sentiments as blind cadre-esque worship like ED and co can do no wrong. Have a virtual coffee and expand… without the rabid opposition bit…

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    • @ntaulu, HE is not campaigning, but going about Office of a The President duties. I do know freedom that is why I insist there should be a way to guard it. On that ground you cannot argue, POA applied correctly is a good tool.
      @ A Phiri, I have said a million times I am non Partisan. I went with PF because they are balanced and have experience. I have been waiting ages to find a reason to go UPND, but am unimpressed with policy arguments, aggro and verbal abuse that goes with it. I prefer Green Tea..!thanks

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  4. The church is becoming divided too. Others in favor of the ruling party’s ill treatment towards opposition leaders & vice-versa. The catholics play an important role in the government’s politics, they know how the country’s political life line is going. I assume Frank Bwalya was stripped of his ‘father’ status by the higher authority of the catholic church.

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  5. “Likewise, we appeal particularly to our own catholic priests to remain non-partisan. The Church law is very clear on this (Cf. Canon Law 285 and Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2442) ….”

    “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy…”

    Now, the sad reality is that your own Priest – FATHER FRANK BWALYA’s conduct is NOT consistent with above tenets. That alone strongly undermines the Church.

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  6. Could this mean preachers, priests, pastors,etc are not doing much, if more than 80% of Zambians confess to be christ like and Saturdays and Sundays, they are in pews, and after church service,come out still demented and continue with hateful messages, vulgarity then your work is equal to zero as our guardians of our religious faith.

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  7. Yes that’s right but it is also equally disgustingly shameful for a black man to a Catholic. ..it’s utter stup*dity of the highest order and lack of knowing ones own history!

    Wake up from your DOCILITY!!

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    • Double Jay. Maybe it’s like taking the ‘n’ word back and they will one day break away from their mothership…
      Wasn’t it an African man from Hippo who enthusiastically handed Rome the plan and method to deliver opium to the masses…

      Ah well at least they put Saint in front of his name and whitened him up alongside Jesus.

      The article is good. So are their intentions. No harm no foul.

      Don’t they look like diversity just hit the Ku Klux Clan? Ok naughty chair for me.

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    • @Jay Jay.
      What does tribalism and racism have to do with the Bishop’s message?? One thing is very clear about you. Your bigotry is your own worst enemy. Racism and tribalism is for small-minded prejudiced people who are terrified to face the future mainly due to their own self-limiting beliefs.

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    • @Cactus I have come to realise that Bembas only preach peace and unity when they are called out about their tribalism. At that point, they turn around and claim it is the marginalised and powerless other Zambians who are tribalists. This type of dissembling does not fool us, the other Zambians, any more.

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    • @Buck Teeth Lungu,
      Tribalism (and racism) is beneath me, my friend. Period. I grew up in the C/belt – mu komboni. Not only did I have many many good friends at school from different tribes, some with whom we played football (ichimpombwa) as kids, some of them where even from Tanzania.
      From your comment it is clear that you, my friend, suffer from ‘Selective Perception’ because of where you grew up. Your misguided belief in tribalism and all that trash has formed a screen of logic thru which you see the entire World around you.
      Racism and tribalism is for small-minded prejudiced people who are too terrified to face the future, mainly due to their own self-limiting beliefs. Tribalism and racism is for scumbags.

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  8. But Lungu is allowed to campaign in all Catholic Churches he attends.

    Mum and our family are Catholic but on the use of the pulpit by Edgar, I disagree.

    Imagine Lungu ordered cadres to remove an innocent mans eye with a panga and no arrest up to now. Aren’t these tocsin signs of looming civil war?

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  9. Thank you Bishops. Please do not relent in being fearless and providing counsel. You are the salt of the earth. I am proud to be Catholic. One request please OFFICIALLY excommunicate Frank Bwalya. He has left the calling of priest in exchange for the arrongance of power and worldly pleasures. Canon law should apply equally both to big fish like Milingo and small ones like Frank

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  10. Zambians never learn, Late Chiluba fooled the people by declaring Zambia a Christian Nation whilst he was busy buying 200 shoes, silk underwears and looting the Zambian treasury. Lungu is using his henchman to massacre and panga the opposition and you say he is a humble but cruel

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  11. “…..If the President made this constitutional assent in good faith, then…..” . Just this phrase has spoilt what should be a good message. Now instead of enjoying the so called pastoral letter, the phrase tells me that the catholic bishops are not speaking in good faith either, coming from bishops this is very sad indeed, if this is how low our society has sunk. Not surprising though, one of their own chaired the Grand Coalition, and none of them saw the bad elements in the draft constitution, not even the controversial Grade 12 qualification and other obnoxious or unaffordable clauses like provincial assemblies. Today under the guise of the so called pastoral letter they have no shame to attempt to teach me democracy, my foot! Guys, jealous down, the performance of these bishops on…

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  12. Zambia is surely heading the wrong way like Kenya and its deeply entrenched tribal culture.It seems Chikuyus in kenya and Bembas in Zed are in the mode to rule and dominate others.

    Zambians please lets not emulate bloody and tribal Kenya where kikuyus have ruled since 1963 and are the richest tribe due to the deeply entrenched tribal culture in kenya.

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    • @Mzambia get your facts right, we’ve had no Bemba president in Zambia. Get back to your basic grade nine history and see how and were the immigrants settled in Zambia. For example, Mwata Kazembe is Lunda-Lunda, though he chose to adopt the bemba language when he settled in Luapula province.

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    • @ba sebenza: you cannot continue to pull wool over our eyes. Northerners work together as Bemba speakers to plunder national resources and discriminate and dominate other Zambians. So-called pure Bembas only dissociate themselves from the others when their looting is highlighted. We are not fooled.

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  13. Tongas beat Dandy crazy and inonge’s family. what of songs like Mubemba ngu satan, how many times have Tongas called Bembas dogs, monkey? its sad very few can read the minds of Tongas

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  14. I am just so disappointed that the Bemba led Catholic Church connived with Sata in 2011 to influence people to vote PF into power. Now that Poverty has Flourished (PF) the Church is putting in such feeble and plaintive calls for tolerance. Where is the vigour of 2011? Is it because their mulamu is no longer there,that is why they are stunned and the Church has gone comatose? The church is supposed to be pro-poor but they have stood aside mute while electricity tariffs were increased by 300%, inflation jumped from 7% to over 21%, and God’s people are turned into animals by power cuts. Why is the Catholic Church unmoved by all this suffering?

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    • Your observation started off well but then you just spoiled it by talking about things you have no knowledge over like electricity tariffs e.t.c. You are very right that these child molesting so called Bishops are not good for anybody. This so called pastoral letter was obviously influenced by Telephone Mpundu who was very quiet during the whole time that Sata his Mulamu went to town destroying everything MMD worked so hard to build in 20years!!! Now that his Mulamu is no longer there he is coming back to start condemning ECL who is actually trying hard to correct the mess Sata created. Because believe me even if it was HH that was president today these things would still have been happening all because the pathetic leadership of Sata. Sata never bothered to understand the effect of his…

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  15. Now that is how churches should act not ama brief case churches who are easily bent by brown envelopes by politicians. Keep it real church.

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  16. “Likewise, we appeal particularly to our own catholic priests to remain non-partisan.” I hope your are checking on some of your priests particularly the Jesuit priests in Chelstone Parish, St Ignatius and Matero. They are all PF sympathizers. The composition of ZEC members is not also not well balanced, in short the Catholic Church in Zambia is Bemba led – Bemba 7 Bishops, Tonga 2 Bishops, Easterners 3 Bishops and North western 1 Bishop. It is a well known fact the Archbishop Mpundu and Bishop Alick Banda are key supporters of the government of ECL regardless of all the hardship the Christian communities are currently experiencing. Mpundu can not speak against the government that evacuated him for specialized treatment to South Africa.

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  17. Bemba led Catholic Church in Zambia. Composition – 7 Bemba Bishops, 2 Tonga Bishops, 3 Chewa/Nyanja Bishops and 1 North Westerner. President and Vice President of ZEC- Bemba and Easterner. They are all PF sympathizers.

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  18. Catholic Bishops are not sincere in what they are and say. They are not happy that ECL is the republican president. Archbishop Mpundu is so corrupt that’s why he never even attended national day of prayer because he thinks he is more holy than others. He was not happy that Lungu declared 18th October as a day of national prayers. He is so quiet on the issue of homosexuality. Ba Catholic Bishops you should just accept that ECL is the republican president and that he will win this years election especially that he has even invited MMD to work together during this years election. Ba Mpundu muli mu cibe. Dr. Mumba always attends national functions because he loves his country and its citizens, Dr. Mumba please accept the invitation from his excellency ECL. Let UPND be sent again in oblivion.

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  19. “We are aware that the whole tribal and ethnic talk is fanned by politicians for selfish reasons of political expediency” Who are these politicians and which political party do they belong to? Is it so difficult for you to categorically state some of the hate and tribal remarks made by those politicians? Please ZEC find your prophetic voice and just mentioned their names. In that way you will help your people to make informed decisions on 11th August 2016.

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  20. There are more PF sympathizers in the ZEC and , the Zambian Jesuit Community and within the Zambia Association of Catholic priests. It is well know fact that Bishop Alick Banda and archbishop Mpundu are PF sympathizers. One was even evacuated to RSA for specialized treatment by the PF government when many Zambians cannot even afford better medical treatment in our hospitals. The Jesuit community of Chelstone, Matero and St Ignatius has PF Cadres who are always singing praises for the ECL administration regardless of many hardship the people are currently experiencing.

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  21. ZEC composition is very tribal. The recommendations by the Zambian bishops for names of priests they think would make good bishop is very tribal indeed. Just imagine 7 Bemba Bishops, 2 Tonga Bishops, 3 Chewa Bishops and 1 from north western province. Not well balanced. Besides that the ZEC president and his veep are Bemba and Easterner respectively. Their pastoral letter may not be a true reflection of what they are proclaiming. It is sad to note that Mass is now celebrated in Bemba is some parishes in Lusaka archdiocese and the archbishop has not made any effort to stop it. Why can we have Mass in Tonga, Silozi, Lenje, Soli, Luvale and Kaonde in Lusaka archdiocese? There is no Mass celebrated in Chewa in Ndola or Kasama diocese. The Church has also become an agent of promoting and…

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  22. True to the word, I don’t subscribe to the hate against bembas by pipo who seek bemba votes to be in state house….true to the word, there has never been a bemba president, kaunda….somewhere from karonga chiluba a chishinga from luapula. sata a Bisa from mpika. if we group this tribes as bembas, we should also accept the fact that we had our chance through mwanawasa….lenje…..a damn good leader by anyone’s standards. if we check on our history will fi
    nd that the so called big tribes are actually small but have a lot of influence, check on the Zambian tribal map Bisa’s have more territory than Bembas!Che was have more territory than ngonis, nkoyas have more territory than lozi’s and the list goes on……even I a Goba from lower Zambezi is considered tonga. God will give us a…

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  23. @Buck Teeth Lungu,
    Tribalism (and racism) is beneath me, my friend. Period. I grew up in the C/belt – mu komboni. Not only did I have many many good friends at school from different tribes, some with whom we played football (ichimpombwa) as kids, some of them where even from Tanzania.
    From your comment it is clear that you, my friend, suffer from ‘Selective Perception’ because of where you grew up. Your misguided belief in tribalism and all that trash has formed a screen of logic thru which you see the entire World around you.
    Racism and tribalism is for small-minded prejudiced people who are too terrified to face the future, mainly due to their own self-limiting beliefs. Tribalism and racism is for scumbags.

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