By Elly Musonda
LUSAKA Diocese bishop Telesphore Mpundu says the Catholic clergy is not scared of anyone, not even death.
Archbishop Mpundu, who is also president of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops, said yesterday during the confirmation of 95 Catholics at Mary Immaculate Parish, that there were many hired PF guns who spoke against him after a statement was issued regarding what was going on in the country but that they were not bothered.
In April, Archbishop Mpundu, on behalf of the Catholic bishops, stated that the country was now all, except in designation, a dictatorship and “if it is not yet, then we are not far from it”.
Our country is now all, except in designation, a dictatorship and if it is not yet, then we are not far from it. Our political leaders in the ruling party often issue intimidating statements that frighten people and make us fear for the immediate and future.
This must be stopped and reversed henceforth, Archibishop Mpundu stated in a statement to Catholic faithfuls in April.
He further stated that knowing God could not be separated from doing justice and from what “we do or omit to do to our neighbour”.’
The Archbishop stated that people who inflicted pain and suffering on fellow human beings could not claim to know God, let alone be “Christian” and deplored the massive, disproportionate and “entirely unnecessary force with which the police acted to apprehend UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, who is facing a treason charge”.
Would it not have been much more civilised and professional to deliver a summons to him containing a charge and ordering him to appear before the police to answer charges of alleged law breaking? The brutal way in which the police acted has only served to heighten the already considerable tension in the nation particularly between supporters of the UPND and PF,Archbishop Mpundu stated then.
However, Patriotic Front deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri and Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba, among others, condemned the Catholic Church and claimed that President Edgar Lungu was following democratic tenets in governing the country.
But yesterday, Archbishop Mpundu told congregants at Mary Immaculate that:
“Some of you might have heard the statement I made about what’s happening in the country. I’m sure you are also aware of the hired guns who spoke against me.
We are not afraid of anyone. We speak for he voiceless; we speak for truth. We are not even scared of death. We do not fear anyone and we do not fear anything. We were just listening to comments of hired guns and laughing. They thought we were going to be bothered but we weren’t at all.”
He said he would not stop serving the Christian community.
The moment I stop serving the Christian community, then I become a parasite. The people whom we put in government, the moment they stop serving us, then they become parasites and they have to know that. Be proud of who you are, Christians, God’s children.
If we do not do what God demands of us as his children…we even go about boasting that we are a Christian country.
said Archbishop Mpundu.