Catholic priest Charles Chilinda S.J., makes no apologies for condemning hypocrisy among public leaders who are quick to condemn than exercise introspection on their own misdeeds.
Reacting to comments over his sermon Fr Chilinda said he had no apology to make over what he recently preached regarding the woman who was caught committing adultery and brought to Jesus for justice which some people have chosen to misconstrue.
“Politicians have no right and will not teach me what or how to preach. When I go into church I do not go to make press statements, which are politically correct, but to preach a sermon, the word of God. Therefore I do not stand to be judged on what I preach by politicians, unless by someone with more theological knowledge than I have” he said.
Fr Chilinda of St, Ignatius Parish said in Lusaka yesterday, that it was outrageous that Zambia was the only country in the region in the bad habit of stripping immunity of presidents anyhow.
Lack of respect for the office of the republican president in Zambia, he said was a source of concern and was disgraceful.
He said it was not proper that a former president should be subjected to interrogations by junior government officials unless that particular president did something heinous and extra ordinary deserving of such temerity.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Fr Chilinda said it was high time that the office of the president was given its due respect because the practice of stripping presidents of their immunity on mere suspicion did not give honour to the office.
He said a president is a human being who could have made some mistakes, but “you don’t throw away the baby with the bathing water”.
He denied accusing MPs of corruption saying he was going to be the first to shake hands with those voting for the motion to lift the immunity of president Banda if none of them had ever committed a wrong. He found the attitude of intolerance morally reprehensible. “Similarly I cant say anything on what Col Panji Kaunda and Dr Katele Kalumba said on my sermon because they were talking from a point of ignorance. Since my sermon I have spoken to President Sata twice and he is not upset with me. People should know that the church stands above any political or social interests because the law of God is above that of the country,” he said.
On Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba’s holier than thou attitude, Fr Chilinda said nobody knows for sure whether he has been cleared by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
He said when everybody expected him to either step down or resign until he was cleared of the allegations Kabimba remained in office and when President Sata presided over the matter, the story died naturally.
He further said the release of pastoral letters by the Bishops was an indication that there were some matters which government needed to address, adding however that the Church has remained silent for a long time in Zambia. Fr Chilinda said it would appear that President was surrounded by people who were preventing him from doing what he wanted to do for the nation. He said the church is not an enemy of any person and that people should listen to what it says and seize the opportunity to improve on whatever shortcomings there may be.”Let all politicians become Christians. Let them know God,” he said