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Catholic Bishops compromised

…Emeritus Archbishop Mpundu says he does not know what the Catholic Bishops are now afraid of to challenge the current political establishment

By NATION REPORTER

THE leadership of the Catholic Church, the Zambia Conference of the Catholic Bishops is compromised and that is why they have failed to come up with a strong Pastoral Statement on the state of the nation, Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has charged. 

And Archbishop Mpundu has accused President Hakainde Hichilema of taking God’s people for granted and should therefore not be allowed to go beyond the first term because he has ostensibly become a danger to the peace, unity and democracy of the country.

Archbishop Mpundu says he does not know what the Catholic Bishops are scared of to check and criticise the UPND government that is with all intents becoming more repressive than ever before.

Archbishop Mpundu said the role of the Church, particularly the Catholic Church was to challenge the excesses of the political establishment but was worried that the current leadership had chosen silence while citizens were being thrown into economic and political miseries.

He said the Catholic Conference of Bishops with its background and history had always been known to put in check brutal political establishments but is wondering what could have gone wrong with the current leadership of the church.

Archbishop Mpundu, who had been voted for five times as president of the ZCCB had to resign after realising that the Catholic Bishops had been compromised and     had had to issue strong statements to censure and challenge the political system alone. Speaking when he featured on Emmanuel Mwamba’s the conversation Podcast, Archbishop Mpundu revealed that he had time and again advised the ZCCB to issue strong Pastoral statements but that there had been some form of inertia within the church leadership.

“I am ready to make my confession. The conference of the Catholic Bishops with its background and history has been known to represent peace and justice. They were vocal but somehow we are losing our salt. Each time I had to issue a statement or ask that a statement be issued against a political establishment, I was being told that I was railroading the Bishops. The leadership of the Catholic Bishops is compromised but what are they  afraid of is what I do not know. It is not right,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

And the Emeritus has charged that President Hichilema should not be allowed to go beyond one term because he was taking Zambians for granted in his style of governance. He disclosed that when he had a meeting with President Hichilema at State House last year, he came out of     that meeting extremely angry that he had to take a cold shower to cool down his anger.

Archbishop Mpundu said Zambians were already tired with President Hichilema and were looking for another leadership that would emancipate them from the Yoke of high poverty levels, high cost of living and a leader that would respect the rule of law.

“When I came out of that meeting (with President Hichilema), I was so angry that I had to go home and take a cold shower to cool down. I said this man (President Hichilema) is taking God’s people for granted and must not be allowed to go more than one term. We should begin now calling   that he should not go beyond one term because Zambians are tired already,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

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