Former President Edgar Lungu had a cordial meeting with Catholic Archbishop of Lusaka Dr Alick Banda and Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu at his residence in Lusaka yesterday. The meeting, which lasted for a few hours, involved an exchange of notes on various national and spiritual matters.
In an interview after the meeting, Archbishop Dr Banda stated that the three leaders had a productive meeting, where they exchanged views on various issues affecting the nation. He further noted that church leaders are also national leaders and they must work together to address issues affecting the country.
Archbishop Dr Banda also expressed his happiness at meeting with Emeritus Archbishop Mpundu to dispel rumours and innuendos that the church was divided. He stated that the meeting helped to show that they were one church and one leadership.
Archbishop Mpundu also described the meeting as being brotherly, and he emphasized that the church’s mandate is to stand with and speak for the voiceless in the Christian community. He reiterated the church’s commitment to serve the community, noting that they must work together to address issues affecting the country.
Former President Lungu, who expressed his humbleness to be in the midst of “the two holy men,” stated that he sought counsel and guidance in his retirement. He noted that he enjoyed the company of Emeritus Archbishop Mpundu last week and was grateful for the opportunity to meet with both holy men yesterday.
Meanwhile, the President of the Socialist Party in Zambia, Fred M’membe, has expressed his concerns over what he called the government’s “targeting for destruction” of pillars that hold society together. In a statement issued on Sunday, M’membe warned that the government’s actions could have severe consequences for the country.
According to M’membe, the government has targeted Catholic Church leaders, relatively influential politicians, and civil society activists for “neutralization or destruction” since late 2021. He expressed concern that the government’s actions could lead to the deterioration of the country’s social fabric.
“The only sure way of getting the best or positive results is by doing the right things; delivering the essential services needed by our people and giving them a better and happier life,” M’membe said. He added that eliminating individuals or sending opponents to jail or early graves does not improve the living conditions of the people.
M’membe also expressed fears that the government was turning tyrannical and becoming a killing machine. “The ending of tyrants is always the same. They say those who live or rule by the sword perish by it,” he warned.
The Socialist Party President called on the government to focus on delivering essential services to the people and improving their lives instead of targeting individuals and groups that are critical of its policies. He also urged the government to respect human rights and uphold the rule of law.