UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has called for a sincere dialogue with emphasis that the church leads the process.
In his letter to the Three Church Mother Bodies (Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Council of Churches in Zambia and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia), Mr Hichilema states that the nation only had the church to turn to for counsel and guidance in times such as these.
He indicated that the country is at cross roads; for the first time after a decade of strong economic growth resulting into lack of employment opportunities especially among the young people who to a large extent have been exposed to anti-social vices.
The UPND leader also stated that the poor state of the economy has been exacerbated by stifling national debt which needs to be addressed seriously.
He further indicated that Zambia was supposed to have been building on the accolade of being an oasis of peace for the role the nation played in the liberation of neighbouring countries but bemoaned the nation’s steadily sliding into a nation of perpetual strife.
He further indicated that hate speech, psychological and physical violence have reached unprecedented levels for a country that was once held in high esteem for upholding democratic tenets.
Mr Hichilema cited the selective application of the law, especially the Public Order Act as one issue which has heavily contributed to the nation’s decline in good governance standing.
“My Lord Bishops, these are but just a few selected threats facing our country and require the collective participation of all citizens in finding solutions. We will turn to you, our spiritual leaders to lead us into an open and honest discussion to resolving these challenges of our time. Our trust in you is based on your tested leadership that saw us usher in the Multiparty democracy in 1991, facilitating the peaceful transfer of power in 2011 and your continued efforts at fostering dialogue among political parties,” reads part of the letter.
“My Lord Bishops, as we have consistently put it, we have always been and are committed to genuine dialogue, led by the Three Church Mother Bodies (Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops – ZCCB, Council of Churches in Zambia – CCZ, and Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia – EFZ). This is because we believe that we all have a responsibility to leave this country better than we found it. We desire a Zambia, where all live in peace, harmony and love, irrespective of any divide.”
Mr Hichilema’s letter dated 28th January 2021, has been copied to the Principal Private Secretary at State House, the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the Chief Justice and the Human Rights Commission.
Others copied to include, the Minister of Religious and National Guidance, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) President.
UPND MEDIA TEAM