Politics

Catholic Bishops Strike Deal To Unite Rivals Pres. Lungu & Hichilema Together

Catholic Bishops have struck a deal aimed at reconciling political rivals President Edgar Lungu and opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.

The influential Bishops met with President Lungu at State House today weeks after the branded the ruling party a dictatorship.

President Lungu opened his door to dialogue with the bishops in the midst of rising political tension in the country.

Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, who has been a stern critic of President Lungu’s style of governance, was among the 14 bishops that even shared spontaneous light moments.

BELOW IS A STATEMENT BY STATE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON AMOS CHANDA

PRESIDENT LUNGU CONFER WITH CATHOLIC BISHOPS

LUSAKA, (Friday, 14th July, 2017)

His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu President of the Republic of Zambia today met with members of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) at State House. The church leaders were at State House to underscore their commitment to working with Government for the good of the Zambian people.

ZCCB president, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu who led a 14-member team of Catholic Bishops said: “We are emissaries of our Church and we come to express our good wishes to you and your Government.”

Commenting on the recent fires in the nation, Archbishop Mpundu said: “We deplore acts of violence such as arson as shown by the torching of the City Market. Our hearts reach out to the victims of this act and their loved ones.”

He continued: “We also decry the acts of sabotage aimed at public installations aimed at crippling economic progress. The culture of cadres across the entire political spectrum of political parties must be replaced by inclusiveness and zero tolerance for violence.”

The Catholic Bishops also appealed to the President to humble himself, put the country first and seriously consider engaging in a genuine face-to-face dialogue with opposition leader Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, such dialogue that will be aimed at reconciliation.

“Your Excellency is quite alive to the historic reconciliation that took place between the two late presidents Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Chilufya Sata. We would like the State to facilitate our visit to Mr Hakainde Hichilema so that we can deliver the same message to him, namely to humble himself, open the door and pursue the path towards genuine reconciliation.”

The President responded positively and encouraged the Catholic Bishops to visit Mr Hichilema and deliver their message.

Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga who attended the meeting said the Ministry will immediately facilitate the Bishops’ request.

The President welcomed the Bishops’ overtures for dialogue, but insisted that such a dialogue should be premised on the opposition first accepting the outcome of the 2016 elections.

The President reassured the Church of his commitment to constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law. “My Lords I wish to assure you of my full commitment to our citizens’ democratic rights. They shall be safe under my Presidency.’’

The President thanked the Church for their appeal to dialogue and reconciliation while urging them to be more vocal on actions from any quarters that threaten national peace and unity. “I want to appeal to the Church to speak with a louder voice against violence and other acts that undermine our peace and unity,’’ the Head of State said.

The Bishops also said: “Our overriding concern is the aftermath of the election that was held in August last year, 2016. It cannot be denied that it was a divisive election which has left the people of this nation deeply divided.

Following Your Excellency’s appeal on 12th March, 2016 at Mpika, we responded by drawing leaders from other church groupings to put our heads together in order to bring the political players together in view of conducting campaign peacefully and ensure peaceful elections. The meeting at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross was meant to achieve a consensus on how to conduct peaceful campaign. You are also a witness that it was not very successful.”

“We repeat this call to Your Excellency and through you to your Government to embark upon a well spelt out and action oriented programme of National Reconciliation through genuine dialogue. We call upon you as President of the whole nation not just your political party to put in place concrete measures to reverse the worrying and very dangerous trend of doing politics through violence.”

Archbishop Mpundu hoped that this meeting will be a building block in promoting a mutually appreciated relationship between the Church and State.

“We never tire to reiterate that the constituency of the Political Authority and that of the Church is one and the same, namely the people of this great nation. That is why the State and the Church must cooperate with each other in its sphere of competence for the benefit of our people. This cooperation consists of comparing notes and exchanging experiences in view of enhanced service delivery to God’s people at whose service both the State and the Church must be in order to be relevant.”

Archbishop Mpundu led 13 bishops and Father Cleophas Lungu who attended the hour-long meeting whilst the President was accompanied by Religious Affairs Minister Rev. Godfredah Sumaili, Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe and Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dr. Chileshe Mulenga.

The Bishops are: ZCCB Vice-president Bishop Alick Banda, Bishop Ignatius Chama, Bishop Patrick Chisanga, Bishop Justin Mulenga, Bishop Charles Kasonde, Bishop Clement Mulenga, Bishop Evans Chinyemba, Bishop Moses Hamungole, Bishop Valentine Kalumba, Bishop Raymond Mpezele, Bishop George Lungu, Bishop Benjamin Phiri and the ZCCB Secretary General Father Cleophas Lungu.

__________________________________________________________________
Issued by:
AMOS CHANDA
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
(PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS)
STATE HOUSE

44 Comments

  1. Aaron Musonda kolosa

    That’s a good move and I know my president is always ready to dialogue for the good of this country. Let’s support this move by the bishops and may the opposition side also do the right thing. No more politicking cuz Zambia is bigger than politicians

    Reply
    • Moses

      Why then have we been wasting time and yet the spirit of God has been showing us lots and lots of signs of division in a one time most United Nation

      Reply
    • jojo

      Reconciliation??? More like arm twisting

      Reply
  2. ati let hh first except 2016!yes its simple he can do dat,bt let u has da true leadr chosen by gods first except to alow da petition to b heard kayili ba presdo!nt ati umunenu asumine bt imemwe mulekana

    Bushe ninshi

    Reply
    • Wise Me

      I think it is not right for anyone to misunderstand or take issues out of context. In short, you note that the President’s position on the acceptance of the election results has not changed. So stop accusing him of having been refusing dialogue. Bear in mind the proposed dialogue may not consider issues handled by the courts. Therefore UPND has been put on the spot. Stop surviving on falsehoods and ignorance. falsehoods

      Reply
  3. prof php

    Lungu is now Solomon. genius thought. may God bless you.

    Reply
  4. skb

    Very good move Mr President..Let’s heal our nation together. In the same vein both parties should exhibit GENUINE HUMILITY in order to facilitate GENUINE DIALOGUE. Anything less than this will be a waste of time. A person can only learn from his mistakes if he realises his mistakes. Should this olive branch be ignored due to boasting and rudeness,then I would say, “Let’ s move on Mr President!”

    Reply
  5. Awa na moyo

    Petition time elapsed u fool.people like u are the ones that misled HH,hence he is in prison alone and u r home.polo ya wuso

    Reply
  6. Away

    Telephone Mpumdu i hope this time u wont take yourself to be God.be neutral.

    Reply
  7. Tuntun

    Teles4 mpundu by say ecl is a dictator,u labelled him as a devil and you as God.how come god to approach the devil ?ulichipuba bishop.

    Reply
  8. cts

    First allow de petition to be heard ba lungu,u ll tocha hh in anyway that u can he ll not accept wat u want.wat a thief u r.

    Reply
    • Wise Me

      Cts ,you need to help HH make a reasonable decision if you wish him to win the presidency. If he makes a mistake on this one his chances will drastically dwindle. Known that in Zambia people like peace. The recent events have not done good to the UPND whether it’s them or not. I wish you understood issues of governance. The president can not withdraw a case under trial he can exercise a prerogative of mercy after one’s conviction. Please act from an informed standing don’t guess.

      Reply
  9. lawrence chungu

    Fruityful dialogue is the greatest wish of every lovin Zambian & de best gift of the year!

    Reply
  10. Zk

    Everything has got time

    Reply
  11. Eastern

    In all things lets put God First(LOVE and PEACE)
    Matthew 6:33, Hebrews 12:14.

    Reply
  12. Chinyemba

    Thats Good

    Reply
  13. Morris Malanga

    This move by the President is genius.
    Peace is what should be preached.

    Reply
  14. Ephraim mwitumwa

    What a fantastic and fabulous way of curbing all these problems.

    Reply
  15. `

    Just watching I need chichi

    Reply
  16. SIMAKANDO SIYUNDA SIMALOYA

    Good move Bishops!!!!!! Ummmm, Iam greatly humbled…

    Reply
  17. vern

    Necessity knows no law, HH a Fool.

    Reply
  18. Godwin

    The move made by the president is genius one. Please try to have humble dialogue . Rather than having unnecessary urgement that cause some arson tensions

    Reply
  19. Chanda matafwali

    We need positive contributions from you the general public in order to reach a lasting and peaceful solution.other countries have no room for clergy intervention

    Reply
  20. Gift sichone

    Youmilyt and a Christians president in a christian nation Mr ecl you’re a leader of our beloved Zambia God bless u papa

    Reply
  21. V

    HH take the bishop,s advice serious they are sent by God arrogance does not help in any way. Otherwise if it in Uganda awe sure sembe tilamwelapo munkoyo. Where on earth do you race with the President,s intourage ? I think you don’t like yourself and your pipo at large. Try to be matured though wisdom is not taught only from God. We love you very much manje your conduct has to improve tremendously.Ukwali insoke takwafwile muntu

    Reply
    • Mkk

      V shut up: if you ended up in grade 2 I forgive you for you don’t know what your are talking about. Let people who have gone to school help reconcile Mother Zambia. This is not time do cadres.

      Reply
  22. Nason

    pliz do so

    Reply
  23. Pamela

    The bishops ,thank you so much for the great job you have done.
    God bless you all

    Reply
  24. Ernest Mutale

    The parties involved in the peace talks should be commended because, this is the surest road to the restoration of peace and unity.
    I hope these continuing talks will see the diconuing of Hakainde’s case together with his accused men.
    If that happens, it should not be be misconstrued as victory by either party.

    Reply
  25. titus

    plez do so remove him dont treat him like the way thy treated Nelson thts is not better place live in.

    Reply
  26. Christopher

    Lean How To Forgive Each Other

    Reply
  27. Dre

    Nice move. Zambian people ar peaceful.

    Reply
  28. Sadch

    God’s time z the best.

    Reply
  29. MICHAEL

    Religion should be a driving force towards unity and development in Africa! Check this article out and see how it applies to not just Nigeria but the entire continent, https://raadaa.com/entries/the-gospel-and-strategies-for-national-development-in-nigeria-a-study-of-moral-model-of-matthew-5-17-48

    Reply
  30. vern

    On planet Earth un trainable is HH. The miracle would do wonders!!!

    Reply
  31. vern

    On planet Earth un trainable is HH.

    Reply
  32. Kenkenene

    After the talk s the state will enter a nolle prosequi

    Reply
  33. Bonic

    God’s enervation is our cry,thank u women and men of God for your prayers

    Reply
  34. OK

    It is good that Zambia remains at peace,but rules must be followed according to our constitution.

    Reply
  35. NAK

    God Bless

    Reply
  36. blond munshya

    Both the leaders of the country and the church at large are in order and we can not challenge the truth, renciliation is the voice of the nation at the moment and the ealier the better, unite Zambia we urgue.

    Reply
  37. Masuzyo Nyenga

    God protect our country from political and moral decay.

    Reply

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