THE cold war between the UPND and Lusaka Archdiocese Archbishop Alick Banda has escalated, with the ruling party declaring the Catholic clergyman as the devil himself.
In a strong-worded statement this morning, UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda declared that Archbishop Banda and Chawama priest Father Anthony Salangeta would no longer be regarded as priests but political opponents.
It all began when Chawama’s Regina Pacis Parish Catholic Church priest Fr Salangeta, during mass attended by former president Edgar Lungu, mocked President Hakainde Hichilema for using graphs and numbers to explain the progress of the economy.
In response, President Hichilema said whoever did not see the need for numbers in running an economy was a joker.
In keeping the fight alive, Bishop Banda asked parishioners yesterday who was a joker between the priest and a liar in an apparent reference to President Hichilema.
In a statement, Imenda said while the UPND appreciated positive criticism in its quest to deliver a better Zambia, Bishop Banda was was a “well-known PF political conman who hides in the pulpit to preach PF ideologies”.
“The UPND is also aware that the Catholic Church usually communicates through a pastoral letter through the church mother bodies like the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops , ZCCB, and not through individual aligned cadre Priests like Alick Banda,” Imenda stated.
He said it was known that Bishop Banda and Fr Salangeta had openly declared his support for Lungu in 2021.
“We are not surprised that the two PF political conmen would support each other in scandalising the President out of their bitter loss in 2021,” he stated.
“I am aware that they are at pains to see President HH outliving their expectations in delivering free education, CDF, over 30,000 recruited teachers, recruiting over 11,0000 health workers in less than a year, training youths in artisanal programmes like carpentry, metal fabrication, general agricultural programmes, reopening of Indeni refinery and re-employment of over 1,500 employees, uniting the country, ending load shedding, and reaching a staff level meeting on resolving the PF caused debt crisis, establishing a fertilizer manufacturing plant which shall produce when at full capacity 700,000 compound D and 300,000 metric tones of Urea respectively”.
Imenda wondered why during the PF regime, Bishop Banda had remained mute when citizens were being gassed, brutalised and terrorised by PF cadres while the government was closing down media houses.
“When such evil acts were taking place, the two so called “men of God” remained mute. What hypocrisy!” Imenda said.
“Mr Banda is the Lucifer of Zambia who wants to take advantage of citizens by promoting the PF…” he added.
Imenda challenged Bishop Banda to a public debate on which areas the government had not been sincere in.
“We further challenge Mr Alick Banda to join the likes of Father Bwalya than hiding in the pulpit mocking congregants who want to hear the message of salvation. Father Bwalya, using the divine cover, gave the people an impression that his utterances was the gospel truth but when he came down to earth, he was reduced to nothing. His party collapsed and ended up being a PF chief vuvuzela,” he said.
On Fr Salangeta, Imenda said: “I want to advise you that turning the pulpit into a political podium by way of not preaching the Holy Word is a devil scheme and a Satanic philosophical tactic”.
Imenda urged Catholics to: “be mindful of the two messengers of Satan busy propagating politics in the name of the church.”
Imenda also challenged Bishop Banda and Fr Salangeta to consider taking off their robs and stand for the PF presidency so that: “we can meet in the battle field.”
“Moving forward, UPND will consider the two as political opponents not as priests and we will call a spade a spade,” declared Imenda.
Kalemba May 29, 2023