Catholic Church Bishops strike deal for Lungu to dialogue with HH

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |

Lungu meeting Catholic Church Bishops at State House

The Roman Catholic Bishops led by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu seem to have struck a deal for two warring political leaders – President Lungu and treason charged opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema to dialogue.

Archbishop Mpundu who led a-14-team of Bishops to State House on Friday, June 14, 2017 today met President Lungu and held talks to seek peace after they called the President as a dictator a few weeks ago.

The Bishops asked President Lungu to humble himself and put the country first by meeting his political rival, Hichilema for reconciliation. They also asked Government to facilitate for them to meet Hichilema in prison so they can deliver the same message.

But President Lungu has stood his ground that he will only dialogue with Hichilema if he concedes defeat in the 2016 elections. Hichilema has refused to recognise President Lungu as winner of those elections.

State House later after the talks with the Catholic Bishops issued the following press statement:

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.

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12 Responses to Catholic Church Bishops strike deal for Lungu to dialogue with HH

  1. HH for life u a my hero and a commando my God give u more wisdom to shame those who opress u.there must before daybreak.we are behind u sir.yours NAMWALA pipo.

    July 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    • Welcome but they should have done more by addressing the cause which is the last elections. They just mentioned this but didn’t suggest anything in terms of the need to solve the dispute. Further, they should have addressed the root cause of the 2016 elections dispute which is ECZ and Concourt, institutions which they should have advised must be independent. They only dealt with treating the effects of the past problem. Or at least they should have hinted directly that through dialogue they propose, issues of the independence of the ECZ and Concourt must be addressed. As Chagwa has already hinted, he thinks or wants that the dialogue the Bishops mentioned should be about having HH recognise him as republican president, period. And why is he obsessed with being recognised? To me it sounds childish.

      July 15, 2017 at 9:25 am

  2. That is a condition Lungu is bringing before the bishops for dialogue and that is not what is expected. From his utterances, he shows that HH is prison for refusing to recognize him. What is the issue that has led HH not to recognize him? We know the problems but yet we want to run away from them. Lets deal with the underlying challenges that have led to the current impasse as part of the dialogue to heal the nation and not to put a condition for dialogue that is the root of the problem. Let us be genuine with the issues of dialogue. We need to go to the table each side with their grievances and agree at the table on how we move forward.

    I hope their Holinesses the Bishops will not go to HH prison cell and tell him he should recognize Lungu before the dialogue because it will really be a waste of their time and effort. I do appreciate the efforts of Lungu in trying to get recognition as President by UPND and its leaders. He does not need to work so hard it. He just needs to do the right thing. We all know what that is. Allow the process that was going to validate his election to run its full course and at the same time fire the Constitutional Court Judges for their incompetence in the manner they handled this.

    James Badoo
    July 14, 2017 at 9:12 pm

  3. 2012 is coming let HH humble himself and God will elevate him. Michael Data did the same and we saw how things turned to his favour I see the same with HH. He will rule Zambia. Before honour is humility

    Mwina Chishinga
    July 15, 2017 at 7:15 am

  4. True we heard HH loud and Clear we heard ECL loud and clear on the problem at hand l think it’s time for both leaders to chill and rule us accordingly they can both come and meet in my ka small rented house at list we can serve them some tea no vundu

    William mukuka
    July 15, 2017 at 11:39 am

  5. Late President Sata never concede defeat in 2006 and 2008. At no time did late President Mwanawasa and President Banda force him to accept defeat. Why should the acceptance by HH now matter most when more than 50% votes casted are alleged to have been attained? Supposing HH also sticks to his claim? Who suffers, the nation of course.

    Master BJ
    July 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm

  6. this was a progressive meeting. at the moment hh should just accept. focus to the future. let upnd allow our president to govern and let the provided checks.
    though its difficult to accept ender circumstances on which the electrol commission conducted election but for the love of our mother Zambia its better for upnd to to show leadership and humbly accept the current situation. we commoners love each other, we don’t know about tribelism which is found among politicians. we do business togethers, we congregate together so we need peace not state threat……kaya. we need peace.peace and peace!

    Stanford Simuuba
    July 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm

  7. Further, the MMD regime that Sata was fighting was not as intractable and cunning as this one. This regime seems to have mutated to an un treatable level. The comparison therefore does not hold. This is not a fight for HH and his team alone, but all Zambians who need to see meaningful change to our once great nation.

    July 15, 2017 at 6:07 pm

  8. How can unresolved issues before the prescribed judicial process be taken out of the courts to be resolved by other means? Who suggested to take the matter from the courts to the conference table? Unfortunately the Constitution states that electoral disputes will be resolved by courts of law and not by negotiations where one party holds all the cards! If law is by-passed, then Zambia is lawless! QED

    July 15, 2017 at 6:18 pm

  9. Isaac Newton (a 17th century scientist) put forth a variety of laws that explain why objects move (or don’t move) as they do. These three laws have become known as Newton’s three laws of motion.

    law of inertia.

    Newton’s first law of motion is often stated as

    An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

    The behavior of all objects can be described by saying that objects tend to “keep on doing what they’re doing” (unless acted upon by an unbalanced force). If at rest, they will continue in this same state of rest.

    All objects resist changes in their state of motion – they tend to “keep on doing what they’re doing.”

    There is an important condition that must be met in order for the first law to be applicable to any given motion. The condition is described by the phrase “… unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” As long as the forces are not unbalanced – that is, as long as the forces are balanced – the first law of motion applies.

    Suppose that you filled a dish to the rim with water and walked around an oval track making an attempt to complete a lap in the least amount of time. The water would have a tendency to spill from the container during specific locations on the track. In general the water spilled when:

    the container was at rest and you attempted to move it
    the container was in motion and you attempted to stop it
    the container was moving in one direction and you attempted to change its direction.

    The water spills whenever the state of motion of the container is changed. The water resisted this change in its own state of motion. The water tended to “keep on doing what it was doing.” The container was moved from rest to a high speed at the starting line; the water remained at rest and spilled onto the table. The container was stopped near the finish line; the water kept moving and spilled over container’s leading edge. The container was forced to move in a different direction to make it around a curve; the water kept moving in the same direction and spilled over its edge. The behavior of the water during the lap around the track can be explained by Newton’s first law of motion.

    Everyday Applications of Newton’s First Law

    There are many applications of Newton’s first law of motion. Consider some of your experiences in an automobile. Have you ever observed the behavior of coffee in a coffee cup filled to the rim while starting a car from rest or while bringing a car to rest from a state of motion? Coffee “keeps on doing what it is doing.” When you accelerate a car from rest, the road provides an unbalanced force on the spinning wheels to push the car forward; yet the coffee (that was at rest) wants to stay at rest. While the car accelerates forward, the coffee remains in the same position; subsequently, the car accelerates out from under the coffee and the coffee spills in your lap. On the other hand, when braking from a state of motion the coffee continues forward with the same speed and in the same direction, ultimately hitting the windshield or the dash. Coffee in motion stays in motion.

    Have you ever experienced inertia (resisting changes in your state of motion) in an automobile while it is braking to a stop? The force of the road on the locked wheels provides the unbalanced force to change the car’s state of motion, yet there is no unbalanced force to change your own state of motion. Thus, you continue in motion, sliding along the seat in forward motion. A person in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction … unless acted upon by the unbalanced force of a seat belt. Yes! Seat belts are used to provide safety for passengers whose motion is governed by Newton’s laws. The seat belt provides the unbalanced force that brings you from a state of motion to a state of rest. Perhaps you could speculate what would occur when no seat belt is used.

    There are many more applications of Newton’s first law of motion. Several applications are listed below. Perhaps you could think about the law of inertia and provide explanations for each application.

    Blood rushes from your head to your feet while quickly stopping when riding on a descending elevator.
    The head of a hammer can be tightened onto the wooden handle by banging the bottom of the handle against a hard surface.
    A brick is painlessly broken over the hand of a physics teacher by slamming it with a hammer. (CAUTION: do not attempt this at home!)
    To dislodge ketchup from the bottom of a ketchup bottle, it is often turned upside down and thrusted downward at high speeds and then abruptly halted.
    Headrests are placed in cars to prevent whiplash injuries during rear-end collisions.
    While riding a skateboard (or wagon or bicycle), you fly forward off the board when hitting a curb or rock or other object that abruptly halts the motion of the skateboard.

    Try This At Home

    Acquire a metal coat hanger for which you have permission to destroy. Pull the coat hanger apart. Using duct tape, attach two tennis balls to opposite ends of the coat hanger. Bend the hanger so that there is a flat part that balances on the head of a person. The ends of the hanger with the tennis balls should hang low (below the balancing point). Place the hanger on your head and balance it. Then quickly spin in a circle. What do the tennis balls do?

    Their are big lessons to learn from this law that we can not run away from. Whichever way you look at it, the external force that exceeds those forces keeping either party in their stance offers a new direction away from destruction. Accepting to be moved will steer this nation to peace and harmony. It means that one or the other must give up their pride and give peace a chance. No one is taking pride in the current state of affairs and as they say; “When two elephants fight, the grass suffers”.

    kasongo Wabaluba
    July 16, 2017 at 2:38 am

  10. HH Chabe Forward

    Mu Guys
    July 17, 2017 at 6:08 am

  11. I thought the issue at hand requires that HH and his followers, Put the 2016 elections behind and provides mature checks and balance to the ruling party. That will automatic cease the fire.I really don’t seem to know what they will discuss.

    July 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

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