Thursday, May 30, 2024

Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu Accuses UPND of Authoritarianism

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Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu issued a statement on October 19, 2023, expressing concerns about what he termed as emerging authoritarian tendencies of the New Dawn government.He called for a halt to the interference with statutory institutions and the restoration of the rule of law in Zambia. Below is the full press statement.

By Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu

19th October 2023.

We write this statement in light of the emerging authoritarian tendencies by the New Dawn government in which state institutions are now being abused despite the assurances from the Executive arm of government.

Here we attempt to highlight just a few examples;

1.Freedom of Assembly and association

Zambians are now living in a police state where their fundamental rights and freedoms are at the mercy of the state police who have been weaponized against the opposition and those with opposing views.

The opposition Political Parties whose business is not only to provide checks and balances but also to mobilize support through direct contacts with the people are constantly and unreasonably stopped by the State Police to carry out their constitutional responsibilities with impunity.

2.Freedom of movement

Like it’s with accused suspects or indeed those facing Criminal Charges in this Country, Our Former President is Constructively imprisoned by the State.

The former President can’t leave the Country, can’t freely attend some functions of his own choosing or move out of Lusaka without State approval.

The former President cannot leave the Country for medical reasons or review which thousands of Zambians are currently accessing.

What kind of hatred and abuse of State Power is this?

3.Case of Sishuwa Sishuwa and the Hot FM Radio

The State has started using IBA, a ‘captured’ statutory Body to intimidate the private media in Zambia, Hot FM Radio has some of the Best Radio presenters in the Country and one cannot sanction them because you feel offended and you are welding State power. This is another clear case of abuse of state power by the executive branch of government.

The UPND administration is trying to gag the private media through intimidation and harassment by using Statutory institutions like IBA and the Cyber Security Act. Sishuwa as a researcher was merely stating the obvious facts as they are being played out by this administration using the media (Hot FM Radio) to broadcast his serious concerns. And that’s within the laws of Country. It’s for the UPND administration to take heed and make amends.

4.The use of ACC, DEC and The State Police

The UPND administration has abused the State Institutions of Good Governance for political purposes to get at many individuals who have fallen out of favor and are deemed unworthy compatriots to their cause.

The removal of the Auditor General’s entire personnel through ACC and charging them with financial misconduct and yet refusing them a Court process is totally inappropriate and unconstitutional.

The Seizure of property before investigations are conducted and freezing personal and business accounts for a period exceeding two years without any judicial process in the name of audits/investigations is purely harassment of Citizens and political opponents using State Power.

There’s More Corruption in the UPND administration than ever before under the watch of d captured ACC, DEC and the State Police. President HH promised to fight Corruption but ns Heart is not in it. Quite shameful, frankly speaking, Authoritarianism is a ruse that fails to solve a fundamental Problem.

5.Dictatorship widens the wedge between the governors and the governed.

The stubborn confrontation with Citizens who criticize the Government is an under appreciation of the Vote we gave you. The conduct engaged in by the Government and the Captured State Institutions whose Heads took Oath to Uphold the Constitution is Potentially prejudicial to the vindication of fundamental rights and freedoms.

You should be reminded that, you are violating the Constitution under which you Took the Oath of Office.

6.The Registrar of Society

We want to remind the Captured Registrar of Societies that She’s NOT a Regulator of Political Parties and must not be abused by some shenanigans in the executive.

Please Stop interfering in political parties’ internal affairs like the holding of Conventions and the like.

7.Civil Society, Church, LAZ and The Diplomatic Corps

We are appealing to LAZ, The Church, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps to take interest in the creeping dictatorship before it takes root in the Country.

We demand that the New Dawn Administration stop interfering with the statutory institutions that are mandated to protect, regulate and enforce the laws of Zambia as the first step in the restoration of the rule of law in Zambia.

Signed

Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore G. Mpundu.

28 COMMENTS

  1. So childish!
    Catholics should open retirement farms where retired bishops and priests can spend time milking goats, than spending their life writing rubbish. How can a Bishop write about that dirty Shishuwa? I never read a sentence about such characters like Nshilisuwa Nshilishuwa who never wear perfume.

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  2. Our Constitution invests power into our Republic of Zambia President. Hence it is the duty of the President of the Republic of Zambia to enforce our laws or the Constitution. Running Government is NOT a Sunday afternoon picnic.

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  3. This article is garbage. It’s riddled with lies.
    Shame on this so called priest.
    Zambians now are enjoying freedoms that they never had under PF.

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  4. Great write up Your Grace Telesphore-George Mpundu! Where we come from ku Lubemba we say, “ukwali insoke takwafwile muntu” literally translated in English as, “where a warning was sounded it did not take away anyone’s life.” Better for the UPND to take precaution now than wait until before the 2026 elections when people would have already passsed their verdict on the UPND. It will be too late for the UPND to try and correct the wrongs the Archbishop is pointing out in 2026. UPND and Bashi Promise (Bally) over promised in 2021 and their failure to fulfill most of their promises will come to bite them in 2026. Zambians know too well the UPND lies and will not be ready to be taken for another ride again. As the English expression goes, “once beaten twice shy.”

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  5. Another Bemba proverb says, “munshebwa aile namafi ku buko”. This is literally translated to say the one who refused to take advice from others went with feacal matter (or soiled and smelly clothes) to his in-laws only to end up embarrassing himself.

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  6. Truth hates what the Bishop is saying is very true and only those who does not care about zambia will conderm. And to the police watch your space because i am telling you some of you will jailed and you will regret holding such position.I feel sorry to those who are not being sincere to what they are suppose to be, those are that are not being professional.Better you resign now on moral grounds mark my words.

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  7. Truth hates what the Bishop is saying is very true and only those who does not care about zambia will conderm. And to the police watch your space because i am telling you some of you will be jailed and you will regret holding such position.I feel sorry to those who are not being sincere to what they are suppose to do, those that are not being professional.Better you resign now on moral grounds mark my words.

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  8. @spooki
    you should understand when the manner from PF fails to come to their pockets
    obviously they will retaliate and insult
    but they will tire shortly

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  9. The exact traits of a regime on its way out. This statement will only make sense to them when they find themselves in the same position as the PF are now. It’s life in the marrow where it’s sweetest.

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  10. Humans always forget their own reflection immediately they move away from the mirror. And when they are in leadership, they immediately pack away their own brains only to pick them up when they come down the ladder. When gravity pulls, the Clergy will make sense even from the senseless. Happy Prayers and Reconciliation. Was the president at the Agricultural Show? No. Because he is not constitutionally obliged like he is on Independence Day. What?!?

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  11. WHY CANT THE CLERGY GO TO STATE HOUSE AND DISCUSS ISSUES WITH HH, IR HE IS APRORER servant of God? otherwise he is doing the opposite to biblical teaching

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  12. HH is a dicktator and all his tribal followers are feeling a temporary joy of power. The majority that are being oppressed know that they made a mistake in 2021 and will never give power to a minority group any more. Know that democracy favors the majority and it is only a matter of time.

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  13. Very disappointing for HH and the UPND govt. So much hope and they have disappointed big time.
    But the fundamental issue is regime after regime, we continue being reactive and discussing the effects rather than addressing the fundamental causes. In my opinion the cause of these repetitive issues is the concentration of power into One Man, the Supreme Leader who controls and runs everything. We need to find ways as a country to truly make supposedly independent institutions truly independent. The other 2 arms of government need to be truly independent and not be controlled by the President.

    • For example why can’t the Police leadership be responsible and explain to the country why the police are curtailing fundamental rights of citizens? We need to strengthen the Independence of our institutions… and that’s what we should be discussing as a country. Otherwise we will be forever in perpetual authoritarianism at the help of One Man or Woman. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!

    • For example why can’t the P0lice leadership be responsible and explain to the country why the p0lice are curtailing fundamental rights of citizens? We need to strengthen the Independence of our institutions… and that’s what we should be discussing as a country. Otherwise we will be forever in perpetual auth0ritari@nism at the helm of One Man. Power c0rrupts and absolute power c0rrupts absolutely!

  14. I think most, if not all, of the abuses mentioned by the archbishop started out under the previous government. Nevertheless it is of course up to the current president to ensure that anti-opposition behaviour that was previously considered normal is not allowed to continue.

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