Catholic bishops in Zambia have demanded transparency and accountability on debt restructuring and mining concessions.
The Church has also regretted the utterances by ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) Secretary-General, Batuke Imenda, for branding Lusaka Archbishop, Alick Banda as ‘Lucifer’ of Zambia.
Reading a pastoral letter in Lusaka on Friday, Zambia Conference for Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) Vice President, Charles Kasonde, raised a number of issues which needed government attention.
Kasonde, the Solwezi Diocese Bishop said the government should ensure that critical information on debt restructuring and mining concessions were made public to ensure transparency.
“We understand the government’s commitment to restructure public debt, but our appeal is for the government to make public information on debt restructuring as well as mining agreements and concessions for the sake of transparency,” he stated.
The bishops in the letter also touched on the high cost of living and political intolerance in the country.
“We urge the government to take measures to reduce the cost of essential commodities. We appreciate that the government has acted on reducing the cost of Mealie Meal through offloading of Zambia National Service branded mealie meal in some places but there is need to do more,” Kasonde said.
He said the denunciation of the Lusaka Archbishop and branding him as Lucifer of Zambia was not only an affront to the persona of the Bishop but the entire leadership of Catholics and its leadership in Zambia.
“Until now the Chief Executive Officer of the party has not retracted or apologised apart from the ruling party hierarchy calling for a cease fire,” Kasonde stated.
He said the demeaning words uttered by Imenda towards the church showed how intolerant the party was to citizens with divergent views.
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