As Poverty Haunts Zambia, HH Fights to Silence Roman Catholic Bishops


By Kapya Kaoma

President Hakainde Hichilema’s government dishonors itself when it attacks the Roman Catholic Church, its Archbishop, Bishops and priests. Aside from being one of the most educated and highly qualified Civil Society Organizations, the Roman Catholic Bishops and priests have democratic rights and liberties to express their views on national issues. Just as the Roman Catholic Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection has the right to defend the importance of graphs in measuring national poverty, the Roman Catholic Priest who dismissed graphs in favor of what people are eating on the table has the right to do so. In fact, Brazilian Roman Catholic Franciscan theologian Leonardo Boff, whose writings have influenced Pope Francis (a Jesuit), and Philosopher Paulo Freire would side with the priest–it is freedom of expression after all.

President Hichilema’s UPND shouldn’t be allowed to sullie the sacred role of the Church in Zambian politics. Mr. Hichilema is not the first President to be criticized by the Roman Catholic Church, nor will he be the last. But his response proves only one thing–a man desperately seeking to hold unto power by all means necessary, which is undemocratic. Democratic leaders accept criticisms as critical to good governance.

We shouldn’t ignore the egotistical antics of HH’s UPND directed at those who were yesterday’s allies. Such egomanias have forgotten the many times when Roman Catholic Bishops and priests spoke against then President Lungu. The Church was not tribal then because Lungu was president.

Am I surprised? I laughed when HH presented his party as a democratic institution capable of making grand contributions in the development of good governance, protection of fundamental human rights, and economic development. I laughed aloud when I heard him pledge that Zambians won’t be arrested for expressing their views under his leadership! I laughed the loudest when Joe Biden insulted Zambia at the UN as HH smiled–for Trumpists only know one thing—self-praise. Perpetual liars have no conscience, for everything they touch, “is the first in the history of this nation.” The good thing is, freedom of expression accords them rights to lie repeatedly. And who can disagree?

I may not agree with the king of liars, but freedom of expression is a fundamental right that is guaranteed by international human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We have the rights to express our opinions, beliefs, and ideas without fear of retaliation from those in power–elements so critical to good governance. This is what is at stake with HH and his cronies’ attacks on the Roman Catholic Bishops. It is an attack on democracy and human rights; it is only meant to stifle dissenting voices and suppress criticism of government policies. He wants to be a god to be worshipped–thus out to censor free speech from respectable bodies.

HH cannot dismiss the Bishops’ claims–he knows that they are informed by reality. This is what scares him. Indeed, it doesn’t matter who voted for who or which tribe one is, the truth is, people are suffering. The often celebrated “mythical” 2.8 million (if it still exists) may insult the Bishops (who ironically lead a very comfortable life than 98% of the 2.8 million who voted for HH) but at the end of the day they are using the same Kwacha! What the Bishops are doing is to force deliberations on the state of the nation, and build new inclusive space for economic innovation, and social progress. HH has the right to disagree with them, but to demonize them is uncalled for. Worse still, for the President to employ defamatory sentiments on citizens knowing too well that he is shielded from prosecution is unethical. All those insulting the bishops must grow up! The campaign ended the moment HH took office–it is time to govern and take responsibility when things go wrong. The daily cheap-attack politics reflect poorly on President HH’s UPND.

Attacking the bishops for stating the obvious is not only rude but also proves one thing—HH is becoming TOO DESPERATE as 2026 approaches. With the help of Seer 1, he may survive 2026, but the day will come when he will wear the deplorable title of “Former president.” HH’s cronies will be publicly and utterly disgraced, and fortunate ones will end in prisons as Zambians cheer.

President HH and UPND note this: your power will only be for 3 years, at the most 8 years!
Grow up!


  1. There’s no Poverty in Zambia…ask Bandit HH and his Bandit Ministers who are living in extreme luxury…driving huge gas guzzling SUVs…..stealing money which was stolen by PF Bandits…now UPND Bandits are helping themselves on the same money they claimed was stolen by PF Bandits

    • Oh Kapya Kaoma, he’s not even in good standing with the Catholic Church himself. HH has no time for petty little fights. He’s too busy running the affairs of the state to bother about Kapya Kaoma.

  2. The funny thing is that we have a liar for president and some people are cheering. He lied on fuel, mealie meal, borrowing, fertilizer, FISP and his cadres who are buying commodities at the same price are clapping. The man is in power but still making promises and showing people graphs. It is not that people do not like graphs or people do not understand graphs. It because people know what they are going through and HH attempted to tell a hungry person that he is full.

  3. How does we calculate the 3 years and the 8 years? Presidential terms are 5 years each.
    I am often compelled to disagree with Kaoma but he has brought about very valid points here. Kudos to you sir, and no insults or bad language in this writing. Good on you.

    • He means they are remaining with 3 years before 2026 and should they win it, another 5 years to rule. At the end of it all, they will still account for everything…………

  4. @Chiza Chirwa, the calculations take into account one term or two terms of HH’s reign. If BMW does one term then he’s remaining with 3 years, but if he escapes the wrath of the electorates and wins the second term in office then he has 8 years to rule up to 2031 when his two terms will have ended.

    • Zikomo Mutulangóma. I still think he could have phrased it properly. The UPND, at the very least, have 5 years. If he stated they are remaining with, would change everything.

  5. I am tired reading articles about this failure of a f00I hh. I won’t comment on the content. I would rather use the chimbusu than waste time talking about hh

    • I am tired of the incompetent Lusaka times who are paid by hh to keep him in news. I Will consider opening my own news page. I thank you for reading my comments here

  6. Some comments though. LT I think you should put an emoji for laughter.
    @ Mwana+Bwembya are you serious?

  7. An article should not pick sides but air mistakes accordingly.Poverty was here before Hh just like global warming.The preist was mocking the president while airing a good point but disguised as a graph issue yet we all can tell it was prsnal attack on the president which is disrespectful.The true problems hace been exposed lets not hide them under the carpet moreover most of those in those areas are managing irregardless but patience will be exercised and at the end of his term we will vote to ascertain if he stays or goes.

Comments are closed.