The Catholic Church has told the Patriotic Front government to stop interfering in traditional matters which can be resolved by set customs.
Without specifically referring to the standoff between President Michael Sata and the bashilubemba and the Barotse Establishment, the bishops said that government interference in traditional affairs was creating confusion in the country.
Speaking during a press briefing, Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) president Archbishop Ignatius Chama said that government interference was creating serious conflict, adding that the failure by the PF government to engage constructively with traditional leaders in order to resolve disagreements had created a crisis in the manner traditional affairs were being managed in the country.
ZEC president Archbishop of Kasama Diocese Ignatius Chama observed that there were a number of outstanding issues involving traditional leaders threatening their status in society under the leadership of the PF.
“There are a number of outstanding issues involving traditional leaders that are almost threatening their status in the Zambian society. At the root of this is the behaviour of some politicians trying to interfere with traditional institutions. Traditional affairs and conflicts related to succession should be resolved by set customs, procedures and systems within the traditional structures with recourse to the courts of law when need be. Government should only come in when such systems violate state laws and human rights,” said Archbishop Chama. And the Zambia Episcope Conference has expressed displeasure at the way the PF government was dragging its feet in enacting the Freedom of Information Bill.
Archbishop Chama noted that the value of having a thriving professional media cannot be over emphasised as it plays a big role as the fourth estate by educating and informing the public.