VICE-PRESIDENT elect Inonge Wina has urged the church to continue with its noble duty of preaching the message of love, peace and unity in Zambia.
Ms Wina said the church should continue to stand in the gap for Zambia by praying for peace, unity, respect and tolerance for divergent views and should out rightly condemn violence at all cost.
Ms Wina said this in a speech read for her by Southern Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba in Livingstone at Maramba Christ the King Parish on Sunday during the episcopal ordination and installation of Valentine Kalumba as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Livingstone.
She thanked the church mother bodies for issuing a press statement that called for love, calm and prayer in the aftermath of the recent general elections in the country.
“As a listening Government, we have continued to facilitate for an enabling environment for the church to serve our people. We are one nation despite our various persuations,affliation and it is therefore important for us to coexist because our personal interests and differences should not transcend national unity.
“I urge all the people of Zambia to heed to this important message from the church, which has come at an optune time such as now,”Ms Wina said.
The Vice President elect commended the Catholic Church for its unwavering service to the nation, through the provisions of health and educational services to the people.
“The partnership that exists between Government and the Catholic Church in uplifting the living standards of our people cannot be overemphasised. The Government focuses on the material needs of our people whilst the church caters for their spiritual needs,” she said.
Ms Wina further called on the church in Zambia to continue with its call for behavioral change among young people.
“The Roman Catholic Church church and other churches in the country should introduce programmes for young people aimed at molding young people into responsible citizens in all spheres. Emphasis should be placed on the need for good morals and the church must seriously take up this role for us to improve the moral fibre of our society,” she said.
Catholic church Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia Julio Murat said the newly ordained and installed bishop had the function of sanctifying, teaching and gathering the church of God in Livingstone .
Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) representative, Kasama Archbishop Ignatius Chama called on political leaders in Zambia to foster the spirit of the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ motto.
“As we have stated before, politically motivated violence, the use of hate speech and the playing of the tribal tag belongs to the Stone Age politics and we just hope and pray that our brothers in the political field will not take us backwards to the Stone Age politics. Together with other churches, the Catholic Church remains committed to exercise its prophetic role and to provide moral guidance in promoting justice, peace and reconciliation in the nation.
“As we continue to celebrate 125 years of Catholicism in Zambia, we invite all Catholics and people of good will to be peace makers and join us in moving together in Christ’s love and mercy,” he said.
Newly ordained and installed bishop of the catholic diocese of Livingstone Valentine Kalumba thanked retired bishop Raymond Mpezele for steering the catholic diocese of Livingstone to growth from the time he became bishop of Livingstone in 1985.
Bishop Kalumba thanked Government for being a part of his episcopal ordination and called for peace and economic development in the country.
“What we are crying for is peace, unity and economic development and you are aware of the various divisions and opinions among the people and as a nation. I therefore personally ask for that you work hard to bring us together and may your leadership not only be pleasing by human standards, but also by the standards of Jesus that every human life is so important,” he said.
On June 18, 2016, Pope Francis appointed father Kalumba as Bishop elect of the Catholic Diocese of Livingstone to take over from Bishop Raymond Mpezele who has since retired.