Minister of Information and Media, Cornelius Mweetwa, says government is ready to meet and dialogue with the Catholic bishops over the concerns they raised in the pastoral letter which has been circulating on different social media platforms.
Mr. Mweetwa noted that government values and respects all churches in the country and beyond but that it is prudent to dialogue than issuing statements through the media.
He says the government will continue maintaining an open door policy at the same time dialogue with different stakeholders including catholic bishops who talked about the economic state of the country.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Mweetwa has observed that the media is a good platform to communicate with people but if not properly used, it has potential to cause misunderstanding.
The Minister said this in Lusaka today at a press briefing held at his office.
Mr. Mweetwa indicated that the issues raised by the Catholic bishops are of serious concern but advised that the bishops could have found a better way of channeling out the matters to government.
He said dialogue is the best way to engage with one another as it will provide accountability and transparency for all parties involved.
Mr. Mweetwa,however, added that as much as government appreciates the concerns raised by the bishops, they could have also proposed best solutions to help the government govern the people effectively.
He stated that in their statement to government, the bishops just talked about the state of the economy without providing solutions.
“We have seen and heard the statement that was issued by some catholic bishops through different social media platforms. We respect and acknowledge their concerns. But we are wondering why they chose to use the media instead of coming to us and dialogue. As a government, we are ready to meet them so that we talk face to face and not through the media,” Mr. Mweetwa stated.
The Minister stated that President Hakainde Hichilema is a strong believer of sober dialogue in view of achieving a win- win situation that will propel economic development.
He explained that president Hichilema is also a strong defender of the rule of law and that he will defend the supremacy of the law to its latter.
On the 10th of November 2023, Catholic bishops through a press briefing, issued a statement to the government which circulated on different social media platforms highlighting the alleged economic state of the country.