Opinion: The Church Has Spoken, Let Those With Ears Hear

The Zambia Council for Catholic Bishops have provided wise counsel on the political happenings in the country. They have not only provided counsel but also gone a step further to offer the route for a solution in the tense political environment. If people won’t listen to anyone given the highly polarized political atmosphere in the country, they can at least listen to the catholic bishops. There is need for those that wield power to show the way and take the country out of a very volatile political atmosphere that they have rightly observed that it is at the edge.

The ruling party cannot continuously behave like they are in opposition seeking approval from the general mass of our people. It is not necessary for the ruling party to be always flexing their muscle trying to prove that they are in power. For what good does it do them to use force to seek recognition? The fact that they have the power to unleash the police on anyone like attack dogs does not in any way diminish the fact that they are in power and are in charge. So why do they have to continuously be reminding everyone that they are in power? The bishops have raised their voice on critical issues that the ruling party as the group in the drivers’ seat that they must address themselves to chief among them is the state of our judiciary, the savage attacks on the Law Association of Zambia the use of the police to intimidate opponents.

These are critical as they are institutions that one always has to seek refugee to whether ruling party or opposition. These are institutions that even people that are assaulting them will run to when they are out of power. It is not by accident that this greater responsibility is thrust on the ruling party as they are the ones that hold the instruments of power. They are not the opposition that they should continuously whine about not being recognized. And for the opposition, they should also seek to respect the authority and seek solutions for their grievances in the right platforms. On the one had they have been trooping to the judiciary seeking remedy for their grievances but have also been all over town scandalizing the judiciary.

They have called judges corrupt, incompetent and also partisan but have in one breathe been seeking justice from the same institution. It has not been uncommon for the opposition to routinely taint ruling party supporters each time they have had public meetings which has elicited angry reactions. Sometimes lives have been lost in this bad blood between the opposition and the ruling party.

For genuine dialogue to take off, both parties must take some responsibility and acknowledge their part in the current unfolding scenario. Otherwise, two quarrelsome adults cannot drag the entire country into their egoistic shenanigans.

President Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema are behaving like two high school students fighting for the attention of the hottest cheek in school. That stunt in Mongu should never have happened but equally the amount of force unleashed in response has been as reckless.

Let those with ears listen, for the church has spoken.

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