A MANSA-BASED Clergyman has counseled the anti-UPND priest tag team of Lusaka Diocese Archbishop Alick Banda and Chawama priest Father Anthony Salangeta saying the two can offer meaningful support to government without mocking or shaming those in leadership.
Bishop Banda and Father Salangeta, close allies of former president Edgar Lungu and the PF have in the last two weeks used the pulpit during mass to mock President Hichilema for using numbers and graphs to explain the progression of the country’s economy.
After President Hichilema responded to the criticism by branding those who opposed his use of graphs and numbers as jokers, Bishop Alick Banda suggested the the Head of State was a liar.
Now the UPND has declared Bishop Banda as the devil himself and have said they will regard him and Father Salangeta political opponents.
But in a statement yesterday, Bishop Maxwell Luchile of Calvary Life Bible Church said it was time to bring dignity to the pulpit.
Speaking in his capacity as Vision Network Foundation executive director, Bishop Luchile urged the church to be objective and provide constructive criticism instead of name calling of the Head of State.
Bishop Luchile said Bishop Alick Banda and Father Salangeta should consider having audience with President Hichilema and advise him of better ways of handling national issues.
“We (the church) have a nation to build of unity and prosperity. To do this the church should not appear to be siding with a particular political persuasion.
“Of late we have observed an exchange of attacks between those in government and those from some section of the church. This is not a way we can grow a country,” Bishop Luchile said.
He further proposed that Bishop Banda and Father Salangeta should make an appointment to see President Hichilema.
“We want to see the church clearly providing leadership so that we are able to interpret on behalf of those that may not have the privilege to reach levels of education we have been able to attain,” said Bishop Luchile.
Bishop Luchile added that the church must not appear to side with a particular persuasion
“It is time to bring dignity to the pupit.”
“And we also hope that the President will be magnanimous enough to welcome the men of the cloth.”
He said while there was a lot that needed to be done to improve the lives of the people the government had scored some successes worth celebrating such free education, workers access to their retirement benefits theough 20 per cent NAPSA partial withdrawal, ending lawlessness by cadres who brutalised citizens including police officers and free education.
“We have a history of defaulting on our loan obligations as a country twice. We are so indebted we can hardly breath hence we need to beg our creditors to restructure our debt. What we have is an economy that is sick economy but we submit that there is hope for Zambia,” he said.
Bishop Luchile said the country had just come from a situation where police was waiting for clearance to arrest a politically exposed or fanatic.
“We reached a level where police helplessly watched cadres molest and abuse innocent citizens or in the worst of circumstances cadres could enter Lusaka Central Police Station and slap police officers,” observed Bishop Luchile.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba May 30, 2023