Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Challenges Of A Pastoral Letter Edited By Politicians


I read through a pastoral letter issued by the Roman Catholic Bishops on the state of the nation.
There are a number of issues they raised, some of which made sense. Before I go any further, I wish to thank the Catholic church, in general, for having protected our nation, especially those few brave individuals who have confronted challenging situations. I wish also to state that not everyone among our clergymen members has stood for justice and truth in our nation. And I stand to be corrected by our Bishops. I love consistency and my problem here is that some Bishops that sounds to have a foresight today watched hooliganism in our nation being committed by those whose vocabulary is similar to the Bishops pastoral letter.

I also want to caution our Bishops not to allow some Bishops who were part of the rigging of the elections schemes to be editing such important documents to the government. How can we trust someone who wanted illegality to be the messiah today? It is impossible.

Our mothers were undressed in the presence of senior government leaders like Bo Inonge Wina, who could not help the situation when a young lady was undressed by unruly thugs sponsored by the PF administration at that time. Whenever I want to critique HH and Lungu on the space of democracy, these are things I put into practice and arrive at a better judgment. How many PF members have been attacked in the past two years for simply attending a national event? As a political scientist and governance analyst, I like comparative analysis, and I have been working on a couple of critical issues such as Russia-Ukraine and now Israel against Palestinians, applying international law.

When coming up with a judgment, I need to know who did what and who is doing what. I expected to see this in both the Bishops’ submission and that of Sangwa.

However, I had a problem with the church using PF vocabulary. For instance, their observation of a “shrinking” democratic space.

What I also expected in the pastoral letter is the Bishops reminding President HH not to take us back to the PF hooliganism were we saw citizens like Mapenzi Chibulo, Vespers, Frank Mugala, Obed Bwalya, Nsama Nsama, Joseph Kaunda, Kungo, Lawrence Banda, Kennedy Mudenda and many others their lives being cut shot because of PF and state house decisions.

I also expected to see the Bishops warning President HH not to keep criminals at state house or in his government like the way Shelby Chilekwa was protected. These are critical issues that shouldn’t miss in any discussion of our democracy.

The choice of language or words can expose the agenda one represents. It is not shocking that the letter came out a few days after John Sangwa’s juvenile law analysis was published. At least, it was clear that Sangwa was very shallow and waffling, reflecting the challenges of every person with a hidden agenda. Apart from good English, John sounded like a first-year law student.

If truly HH has brought dictatorship, how many media houses has he closed? How many thugs has he allowed to terrorize his opponents despite their sinful nature? Let us talk more about his economy which really needs attention. But governance wise unless one is looking at things from the hooliganism perspective. And again I will say this be extra careful Mr. President. Not everyone in your system means well. You feed most ungrateful human beings who go to plan evil against you sir! be extra careful!

I don’t know about you, but as for me, the word “shrinking” is used mainly in comparative analyses, the opposite of which is expanding.

According to the Bishops guided by God, or so they claim, they have observed that a democratic space in Zambia is shrinking.

The question is, when was it expanding? What this means is that, in the PF-led government, according to Bishops, the democratic space had expanded, and they were happy.
The Bishops were content with a government or governance system that killed people for expressing divergent views.

They were happier with a PF government that charged opposition members with capital offenses of aggravated robbery during campaigns for merely unearthing illegal NRC issuance, like the case of Mr. Mucheleka.
The government that burnt markets to implicate members of the opposition made the Bishops very happy.
During burials of opposition members, graveyards turned into battlefields. Cadres sent by Edgar Chagwa Lungu attacked members of the opposition.

But, according to the Bishops, that was an expanded democratic space. National events were the preserve of ruling party officials and their cadres.
HH, in the then expanded democratic space, followed the burial of KK on TV. He was barred from attending it.
How can you explain the issuance of an unprecedented number of Nolle Prosequis during PF’s reign of terror?
During the treason allegations, the Bishops remained mute. It had to take a retired Bishop to voice out.
Trust me, that pastoral letter is edited by the PF LUNGU’s or so, I suspect.

Unless someone tells me that it is, in fact, the Roman Catholic Bishops responsible for editing or writing PF speeches. Without that clarification, that pastoral letter is written by PF and John Sangwa and read by the Bishops.

If the Bishops continue to sound like PF Lungu’s faction, they risk being suspected not to be speaking for God but for their friend and his faction of PF.

To the UPND government, my advice is that carefully examine the issues the Bishops have raised and respond accordingly and professionally. Do not be like the past administration that told Bishops to concentrate on preaching the word of God. But be careful because not everyone who says father!father! Will enter the kingdom of God.

By Sikaile C Sikaile ( Facebook post)
Concerned Citizen

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not represent anyone nor any organization and you are most welcome to disagree with me or vice versa.


  1. I was disappointed that our bishops did not mention the gassing incidents. Although these have stopped. Innocent people got lynched and many people suffered injurie.For what? To incriminate a political opponent and perpetuate an individual’s stay in power? Criminal!!The gassing crimes needs to be investigated and brought to it logical conclusion. We cannot allow such a grave crime against the citizenry to be swept under the carpet and go unpunished. Who carried out gassing? What were the motives? Who sponsored/funded the gassing? Why didn’t law enforcement fail to make any headway in investigations then? Why were our bishops quiet during the entire period of the gassing crimes?

    • Sikaile look what I found online “ Armchair revolutionary (or armchair activist and armchair socialist) is a description, often pejorative, of a speaker or writer who professes radical aims without taking any action to realize them, as if pontificating “from the comfort of the armchair”.

  2. Hello Sikaile C.Sikaile,
    You should analyse the pastoral letter in the context of the issues raised and with an open mind. You are only looking at Lungu and PF. That’s what has clouded your mind. UPND should denie or fix what has been mentioned. Don’t give an editorial comment which is already judgemental and biased. What do you think the bishops will gain by siding with PF. UPND government was voted into power by the people and not the bishops. So let UPND do the right things and address things correctly, the same people who voted them will vote them again.

    • My brother it seems we are cursed. KK was warned by the Bishops.. his response was MUKENDELA PALI KOLONA.. you will fly on your rosary and it’s him who kissed the dust… each of our successive presidents has been warned but have rudely ignored the advice.
      Maybe there’s a ghost in State House.

    • Sikaile raises the point of shrinking democratic space and has asked if this is indeed the case when comparative speaking people used to get shot and killed. This is a fair questioning of the assertion that democratic space has shrunk. Sikaile is a mere commentator and has no power to address the issues the clergymen raised. It’s up to the government to respond and indications are that the government wishes to respond to the Catholic Church in Zambia.

  3. This are all valid points including the mention of a bishop who was assisting PF in rigging elections his name is Alick Banda a well known PF cadre masquerading as a bishop.

  4. There is one well known adulterer who sleeps with married church members among these so called catholic bishops. his name is dr alick banda. he knows it in his heart that he sleeps with married women. what morals can these chaps teach others. useless bishops. offsprings of the lucifer


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