Caritas Chipata Director Dennis Phiri has advised aspirants in the August 11th general elections to avoid violence and insults during the campaigns.
Father Phiri said during his homily at St Atanazio Catholic Parish in Chipata on Sunday that political parties in the country must avoid all forms of violence before, during and after the elections and maintain peace.He said the people must be the beacon of peace adding political party leaders had a duty to unite the people hence the need to avoid violence during the campaigns and keep Zambia as be the beacon of peace.
Fr Phiri said that peace was the blessed joy of a successful life adding that ordinarily one would expect that with all the scientific discoveries and inventions in the world, humanity would enjoy more peace and harmony.
“It is the fullness of life in the presence of the living God. It is the fullness of life in the mutual love of human beings. It is the fullness of life in the community of creation with all other creatures. This can only flow from Jesus Christ the Prince of peace,” he said.
He politicians must also keep the peace and tranquillity during the campaign period stating that violence during the election campaigns could plunge the country into bloodshed.
He said peace advances the communities and any community that welcomes peace was welcoming an opportunity for both spiritual and material prosperity.
“With the peace that Christ offers us, we must be ready to transform our world from the culture of war and hatred to a culture of peace. He invites us to be instruments of His peace. My dear brethren in Christ, we need this peace in Zambia more than ever before,” he said.
Fr Phiri said Zambians must win elections without bloodshed stating that every political leader should get rid of the ugly face of violence which was showing itself the country ahead of the elections.
“There has already been bloodshed; we don’t want any more bloodshed in the name of Jesus. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule. Zambia is called a Christine nation. This political violence being witnessed is actually harming Zambia’s reputation of being a peaceful country and threatens its investment climate and tourism potential,” he said.
Fr Phiri said war always marks the failure of peace and said it was always a defeat for humanity.He explained that forgiveness, dialogue and reconciliation were the words of peace, in the Zambia and the World.He said there was need for Zambians to pray for reconciliation and peace in every part of the country.
Fr Phiri said politicians from PF, UPND, Rainbow, MMD and FDD among others must learn to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish.
He said violence was immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding.
“Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself,” he said.