President Edgar Lungu has agreed to be part of a proposed meeting by Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) that would bring together political leaders to dialogue over political violence in the country.
The meeting that would be convened by ZEC soon would see Mr Lungu and other political party leaders discuss an effective way to end the violence perpetuated by cadres.
“Following a special appeal from the Clergy over the national concern over political violence , and the proposal that we consider meeting all political parties on the matter, we have have agreed that we meet our colleagues in the Opposition to resolve this matter and as we go towards general election in August 2016, read the statement released by the presidency.
” We have also agreed to meet and dialogue over political violence perceived to be perpetuated by all political parties across the country. This is one of the most important outcomes from a meeting we held at Mpika Diocese with the Catholic Bishops after the consecration ceremony of the Bishop of Mpika diocese at Mpika parish earlier this afternoon, ” concluded the statement.
Mr Lungu also disclosed this during a public rally at Musakanya Market in Mpika yesterday, saying he had to be part of the meeting because he did not want lawlessness.
“Let it be known that I am not a coward. I am fostering peace in the country because I swore to defend the Constitution,” he said.
Mr Lungu said he would not tolerate lawlessness in the country and instructed the police to deal with anyone causing anarchy.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Amos Chanda told journalists that the Bishops responded to the call by the President for the church to do more to curb violence.
Mr Chanda said the Catholic Bishops would by Wednesday deliver a concept paper to which leaders would commit to renounce violence.
And Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) vice-president Alick Banda said the abusive language used by politicians belonged to the Stone Age, and that there was need for politicians to respect one another.
Bishop Mulenga thanked God, his family and church members for the support he had received through his calling as a Catholic priest.
Kasama Diocese Bishop Ignatius Chama, who ran Mpika Diocese until Bishop Mulenga’s appointment, said he was grateful to President Lungu for accepting the invitation to grace the consecration.
United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema, his deputy Geoffrey Mwamba, Forum for Democracy and Development leader Edith Nawakwi, and Paramount Chief Chitimukulu were among those who attended the event.