Current political situation worries catholic bishops

The Zambia Episcopal Conference ZEC has expressed serious concern over the current political situation in the country.

And ZEC has called on President Edgar Lungu to popularise the amended constitution to Zambians for people to familiarise themselves with new clauses.

According to a Pastoral letter availed to Breeze News by ZEC President Telesphore-George Mpundu and signed by 13 Catholic bishops, ZEC says the political culture that persistently clouds Zambia’s election does not depict a maturing democracy and maturing democrats.

They say that Zambia is paying a great price through political hooliganism and the leadership of political parties has failed to uproot political violence.

They observe that in some cases political leaders actually seem to encourage and fan it by issuing inflammatory speeches while perpetrators of violence are not being punished.

ZEC has appealed for a new political spirit and a democratic culture among political leaders and their members.

ZEC has also urged leaders in government to be the torch-bearers in the promotion of true reconciliation and peace adding that the role of the District Commissioners in this electoral process must be watched and seriously scrutinised.

It says that District Commissioners should not act and work as party cadres wherever they are and using government resources.

Meanwhile the Zambia Episcopal Conference ZEC says that it is very concerned about the selective application of the Public Order Act by the Police Service.
It says that in many cases, the Public Order Act is applied in favour of the ruling party and those they favour, which disadvantages opposition political parties.
It has also appealed to catholic priests and other church leaders to remain non-partisan.
ZEC has stated that it is morally wrong for the catholic priest to use the pulpit to campaign for, or de-campaign any political party or parties or to give politicians any platform to speak during liturgical celebrations.
And ZEC has also called upon the media to be professional by reporting truthfully, objectively and factually as they inform the public.
Meanwhile ZEC says that government has not given any road map for the post assenting period with respect to the application of the new Constitution.
It says that even as the country moves towards August elections, the new Constitution has implications that impinge on the elections and this should be looked at.
ZEC says that there have been no efforts to make the amended constitution easily accessible and affordable to the majority Zambians.
It has called on the President to prevail over relevant ministries and government departments to popularize the amended constitution and publicise the post assent constitutional roadmap.

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