President Michael Sata should heed the advice from the church and reconcile the country that has been deeply divided because of the hatred and vindictiveness that is being propagated by the Patriotic Front (PF), People’s Party Mike Mulongoti has said.
And Mr Mulongoti has condemned the presence of heavily armed police officers at St Ignatius Catholic Church during the veneration of the cross where President Sata, former president Rupiah Banda, first republican president and other political leaders were united for the Good Friday Mass.
Mr Mulongoti has commended the Catholic Church and Father Charles Chilinda in particular for taking up the personal initiative of bringing President Sata together with former president Banda, Dr Kaunda and leaders of most of the opposition political parties.
Mr Mulongoti said there had been a lot of anger and hatred being propagated and that the president Sata’s presence at St Ignatius had given Zambians hopes that Zambia could heal from its political wounds resulting from the political differences among citizens.
He said the messages of forgiveness, reconciliation, love and peace got to the highest office in the land and that it was hopeful that President Sata was going to change his antagonistic way of governing the country.
He said President should consider calling for a round table meeting with opposition political parties because that was the surest way of defusing the tension that had griped the country in the last two and half years.
Mr Mulongoti said President Sata should endeavor to unite Zambians in all his actions and messages because only then would he govern the country with peace.
Mr Mulongoti said time has come for politicians across their political divide to extend hands to each other because Zambia needed love and peace for its smooth governance and development.
“The Catholic Church has done a great job to convince President Sata to be together with president Banda, president Kaunda and other political leaders such as Nevers Mumba and Edith Nawakwi. We were all given the same message of love, reconciliation and harmony and our only hope is that those in government will accept the messages. We cannot continue living in a tense and acrimonious political environment,” Mulongoti said.
He said it was good that Fr Chilinda did not allow President Sata to make a speech because all political leaders were going to ask that they speak which could have spoiled the event.
And Mulongoti has said it was wrong for President Sata to have allowed the heavy presence of police at church because the environment did not depict a worship session.
He said the police were armed to the teeth as if they were at a battle field adding that a lot of congregants were intimidated by the guns and other weapons the police were brandishing.
“I do not think the people who went to church wanted to harm President Sata and it was totally unnecessary for the entire grounds of the church to have been filled by heavily armed police. While the church was good, the presence of the police frightened most of the congregants,” Mulongoti said.