The United Party for National Development (UPND) has expressed serious concern over recent statements made by Archbishop Alick Banda regarding the search conducted by the Zambia Police Service at the residence of former President Edgar Lungu. In a statement, the party called on the Archbishop to retract his comments, which they say promote gender inequality and could incite division among Zambians.
The Archbishop had questioned the need for 200 police officers to be sent to former first lady Esther Lungu’s residence, stating that he was uncertain if the same number of officers would be sent if it were a man.
In the statement, UPND Media Director Ms. Ruth Dante Heaton called on the Archbishop to retract his statements, which she said could promote gender inequality and division among Zambians.
Ms. Dante Heaton stated, “As a leader and man of God, Archbishop Banda’s language has the potential to promote higher gender inequality, which is something he should be preaching against. It is important to recognize that language has a powerful impact on how the world perceives women, and it is our responsibility to use language that promotes equality and respect for all individuals.”
Ms. Dante Heaton also clarified that the police had gone to the residence to conduct a search for stolen vehicles and had a valid search warrant, not a warrant of arrest. She emphasized that it was not appropriate for a religious leader to spread false information and fuel division among Zambians.
“Archbishop Banda should be playing an objective advisory role to those in political leadership and promoting unity among Zambians. As a man of God, he should be providing guidance and direction to the leadership of the country and avoiding making sentiments that have the potential to divide our nation,” Ms. Dante Heaton added.