Disunity worries Catholic Bishops


HE perception of tribal appointments and dismissals in the public service are a source of deep concern to two senior and influential Catholic Clerics, Archbishops Dr Alick Banda and Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, Brebner Changala has said.

Mr Changala says Lusaka Diocese Archbishop, Dr Banda and Emeritus Archbishop Mpundu are deeply concerned about the reverse tribalism taking place in the civil service that has seen more than 400 civil servants offloaded to Cabinet Office in holding positions.

And Mr Changala has said Zambia is being methodically divided on ethnic basis and that harmony, peace and unity have come under attack because of the regionalism that is being promoted by a selected ruling class.

On Monday, Archbishop Dr Banda and Emeritus Archbishop Mpundu met for the first time after a long time, reconciled and reunited for a common cause…the good of the Church and the country.

Mr Changala, once an ardent supporter of President Hakainde Hichilema in opposition disclosed that former President Edgar Lungu played a part in bringing Archbishop Dr Banda and Archbishop Mpundu together to reconcile for the good of the Catholic Church and the country as a whole.

Mr Changala, who prior to the August 12, 2021 general elections was a fierce critic of former President Lungu worked together with the former head of State to bring the two senior Catholic Church clerics on the same table.

“What is happening in the civil service where civil servants are being purged on the basis of their ethnicity has been a driving force for Archbishop Dr Banda and Archbishop Mpundu to come together. They (Archbishop Banda and Archbishop Mpundu) are deeply concerned about the reverse tribalism going on.”

“There is an attack on civil servants on the basis of ethnicity and too many have been shunted at Cabinet Office while another ethnicity is taking over their positions. The peace, harmony and unity Zambia has enjoyed since 1964 is under attack. Zambia is methodically being divided on ethnicity basis,” Mr Changala said.

Mr Changala said there had been a scheme to accuse civil servants from selected regions of being corrupt who had been obtaining allowances illegally so that they could be fired from the civil service and replaced with those from the correct regions.

He said an agenda had been generated in which citizens from a certain region were being characterised as corrupt and they should never come near the governance of the country ever again.

“From 1964, the people who had maintained the peace, unity and tranquility of the country are being branded thieves and criminals who should never run Zambia ever again,” Mr Changala said.

Mr Changala said Archbishop Mpundu as a retired Catholic cleric needed to reconcile with his successor, Archbishop Dr Banda and that the two had become a symbol of unity in the Catholic Church.

He said Archbishop Mpundu had broken ranks with the UPND, the party whose beliefs he championed because he wanted to serve humanity, especially the poorest of the poor in society.

“Archbishop Mpundu was a strong supporter of the UPND who propagated and championed the agenda of the ruling party. But Bishop Mpundu’s agenda on earth is to carry the voice of the voiceless.

He is for peace, harmony, unity and justice. He has broken ranks with mortal men and women. Many a time, he has challenged the Church to speak for the poor.

I congratulate former President Lungu for the initiative of bringing the two Bishops together. They are now one and not two. In this country, we are totally divided,” Mr Changala said.

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