Given Lubinda, Vice President of the Patriotic Front, has reiterated his call for the UPND Government, led by President Hakainde Hichilema, to accept criticism from various stakeholders, including the Church. Lubinda expressed regret over the insulting and demeaning language used by President Hichilema and UPND Secretary General Batuke Imenda against Lusaka Archdiocese Archbishop Dr. Alick Banda and Chawama Parish Catholic Priest Fr. Anthony Kapembwa Salangeta.
Lubinda emphasized that the two priests had committed no crime other than speaking up for the poor and addressing governance issues guided by the Church’s Social Justice doctrine. Drawing from his party’s experience in government, he stated that the Patriotic Front had accepted severe criticism without resorting to derogatory terms or labeling clergy members as “Lucifer” or “UPND Cadres.” Lubinda condemned the rising intolerance displayed by President Hichilema and accused him of fostering a dictatorship and a police state.
In light of these developments, Lubinda called on the public to defend the Church, as it advocates for the weak, the poor, and the voiceless.
Meanwhile, in Mansa, Catholic Diocese Bishop Patrick Chisanga urged the government to stay focused on working for the Zambian people instead of comparing itself to previous administrations. Speaking during his homily at Mansa Catholic Cathedral on the solemnity of Holy Trinity, Bishop Chisanga emphasized that the Zambian people had entrusted the United Party for National Development (UPND) with the mandate to work on their behalf.
Bishop Chisanga urged the government to prioritize delivering for the Zambian people who had entrusted them with authority, without getting distracted by other matters. He highlighted the democratic nature of the country, where people have the freedom to choose which political party comes to power, and the UPND had been chosen by the Zambian electorate. Therefore, he urged the party to focus on bringing development to all parts of the country, even for those who did not vote for them.
The Bishop emphasized that the government should seize the opportunity given to them by the Zambian people and work towards improving the livelihoods of all citizens, regardless of political affiliation.