The Catholic Church has been accused of conspiring with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and abandoning its role of speaking for the poor and marginalized majority Zambians, says People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti.
Mr. Mulongoti said that some Catholic Church Bishops and Priests who supported and campaigned for the PF and President Michael Sata have suddenly become quiet when human rights and the political environment were degenerating.
He said that it was only fair that the Catholic Bishops and Priests who supported the PF own-up and respond to serious accusations leveled against the church of conspiring and abandoning the voice of the poor people by Evangelical Church in Zambia (ECZ) Bishop Paul Mususu.
Mr. Mulongoti observed that the concerns raised by Bishop Mususu on behalf of many Zambians who feel marginalized, victimized and neglected by the PF government, a party many Catholic Church Priests and Bishops supported and campaigned for in 2011 were not only serious but frustrating and an act of betrayal.
In an interview with the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Mulongoti said that the concerns raised by Bishop Mususu were not only important but were at the centre of human livelihood and sanctity, adding that it was a responsibility of the church to speak on the evils of the government.
Mr. Mulongoti said that it was only fair for the Catholic Church Bishops and Priests who supported the PF to guide President Michael Sata on various issues Bishop Mususu has tabulated and the church’s silence on the illegal activities of the PF government.
He said that it was true that the backstage position taken by the Catholic Church against the PF government was suspicious, worrying and uninspiring to many Zambians.
“First of all Bishop Mususu has spoken as another Church leader and obviously I want to believe that it is not him as Mususu speaking but as a conveyor belt of information by many souls that feel insecure and abused under the PF government,
“ It is only fair that the Catholic Church listens to him (Bishop Mususu) because he has raised serious issues of governance that border on the very stance the Catholic Church especially after the manner in Archbishop Mpundu condemned Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda and the MMD government,” said Mr. Mulongoti.
Mr. Mulongoti said that what Bishop Mususu, who is also former leader of the Oasis Forum, raised were as a result of the compromised position the church has taken on various issues of governance which have impacted negatively on the PF regime.
He said that Bishop Mususu had fired a timely salvo at the church for self introspection on critical positions they made not too long ago against former Presidents Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda which they seem not to undertake under President Michael Sata today.
“It is only timely that the Catholic Church stand up and decides whether to be on the side of the people and speak out on the issues raised if they are true or to be with the PF and keep quiet as it has been. There is too much corruption in the PF, there is so much violence perpetuated by PF leaders in this country and it is only fair that the voice of the church is heard,” said Mr. Mulongoti.
Mr. Mulongoti reminded the Catholic Church leaders that history would always prevail and reveal past actions and positions made on various issues, adding that it was paramount that the same strong voice of the church was heard again in protecting democracy in the country.
He said that the challenge to the church had come at a right time when the country was facing a serious leadership crisis and was at the crossroads over governance, adding that there was no need to trivialize the matter as it was extremely important and needed answers.
And Mr. Mulongoti has asked President Sata to withdraw the declaration that he would govern the nation on Ten Commandments of the Bible because he has failed to observe any of the commandments.
The opposition leader said that President Sata and the PF gave themselves a tall order and measurement in governance which they have lamentably failed to achieve but instead have brought shame on the church and its supporters.
“Let President Sata withdraw that statement that he will govern the country on Ten Commandments because they gave themselves a tall order which they have fully breached. The PF is very arrogant and Jesus was not arrogant,
“Jesus did not do things to divide his people but to unite them and teach love. Look at the way the PF is governing the country without humility. It is only fair that they withdraw that declaration because they have failed to follow it,” he said.