President Edgar Lungu has assured Pope Francis that Zambia will experience peace and tranquility in the run-up to the August 2016 general elections.
Special Assistant to the President, Amos Chanda said this at a press briefing after President Lungu met the Pontiff at Vatican.
Mr Chanda said the two leaders substantially discussed the effects of climate change and the need to reinforce mitigation in order to avoid hunger and increased poverty among the people.
“They touched on the possibility of crop failure in southern Africa and therefore the Elnino effect on agriculture, and the President said Zambia has put in place measures to mitigate climate change,” he said.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu and the Head of the Catholic, called for enhanced dialogue at different spheres of governance in the world.
“President Lungu at a meeting with the Holy Father said there must be dialogue in all spheres of life beginning with the family unit in order to encourage harmony and tolerance of divergent views among the people,” he said.
President Lungu, who was accompanied by First Lady Esther, led a small delegation of only Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba and a handful of State House officials that included special assistance for press and public relations Amos Chanda and Kaizer Zulu for political affairs.
Others in the presidential entourage were special assistant for economic affairs Mwiinga Hibeene and Patriotic Front (PF) deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri.
The Zambian Head of State first held private talks with Pope Francis in a 28-minute closed door meeting, against the Pontiff’s usual 15 minutes allocated for such meetings at his office.
President Lungu later proceeded to hold bilateral talks with the Vatican Secretary of State Bishop Pietro Poralin who was accompanied by Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, secretary for relations with other states.
President Lungu earlier inspected a guard of honour mounted by the official Vatican Swiss Guards as he arrived at the courtyard of the Pope’s residence at St Peter’s Basilica, where he was welcomed by the prefect of the pontifical residence Bishop Ganswein.