The manner in which the Patriotic Front government has responded to the statement by the President of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu speaks volumes about the respect President Lungu’s government has for the church in Zambia.
PF Deputy Spokesperson Frank Bwalya sais he is impressed by the approach and choice of words the Chief Government Spokesperson Ms Kampamba Mulenga in her response to the statement by Archbishop Mpundu.
Mr Bwalya said given President Lungu’s appreciation of the work of evangelisation by the Catholic church and other Christian churches in Zambia the PF is not surprised that his government has taken a conciliatory and not antagonistic approach despite being on firm ground to dispute the contents of the statement.
He noted that in the past statements such as the one by the Catholic clergyman received sharp and harsh reactions.
The PF Spokesperson claimed cadres were allowed to ridicule sources of such statements and in some cases even threaten violence.
He said President Lungu has introduce a new culture of dialogue based on mutual respect. This democratic tenet is a hallmark of President Lungu’s leadership and will feature prominently on his legacy.
“Therefore, Zambians should be sure of the fact that the PF government will not scandalise church leaders for raising concerns on the governance of the country whether such concerns are based on accurate analysis or not,” Mr Bwalya noted
Mr Bwalya said the PF government has demonstrated commitment to accommodate divergent views from stakeholders with a reputation of meaning well even when such views are based on opinions that don’t reflect reality.
He urged Archbishop Mpundu not to doubt the sincerity of the PF government to dialogue with the Catholic Church leadership and the church leaders in general.
“In the same vein we wish to encourage the Archbishop to heed the request by Government Spokesperson Ms Mulenga to engage the United Party for National Development (UPND) regarding issues that can cause unnecessary conflict including their refusal to recognise a duly elected and validly sworn-in Republican President,” Mr Bwalya said.
He said many Zambians believe this is important because they think it is what made the UPND leader and his members refuse to follow the law regarding Presidential Motorcade in Mongu recently.
Bwalya pointed out that Catholics in Zambia will continue to appreciate the God-fearing leadership of President Lungu that makes him embrace the clergy and value their voice.