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Don’t provoke Catholics, Bwalya warns PFBy Joseph Mwenda on 19 Jun 2017
Frank Bwalya has warned the PF against issuing disparaging statements to counter remarks made by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu on dictatorship, saying the ruling party risks starting an unnecessary war with the Catholic Church.
Bwalya’s warning was prompted by a statement made by PF youth Maxwell Chongu titled “ARCHBISHOP MPUNDU SHOULD KNOW THAT IT’S OLD-AGED BISHOPS LIKE HIM SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA THAT CAUSED THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE THROUGH CARELESS RANTING”.
In the article, Chongu charged that Archbishop Mpundu had lost his morals and must resign from his position.
“Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu surely needs to resign his position on moral grounds, because its evident enough that old age has caught up with him looking at his careless political ranting that might be the recipe for anarchy and divisions in Zambia. I am a staunch Roman Catholic and I know how the Roman Catholic denomination issues statement and certainly it’s not through press briefing. The bishops seat collectively and issue a pastoral letter,” Chongu said in a statement posted on Facebook and shared in PF WhatsApp groups.
“Truth be told, am convinced that the Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu issued those political outbursts in his own personal capacity as a UPND sympathizer and not necessarily representing the view of the Catholic Church, for what is being preached in church today is different from what he said.”
He charged that the high priest was suffering from dementia.
“It’s old-aged bishops like Archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu suffering from dementia that caused the genocide in Rwanda through such utterances. Every well meaning Zambian should be worried with what the archbishop Telesphore George Mpundu is doing because this might spark similar incidents like what happened in Rwanda,” said Chongu.
But Bwalya, an ordained former Catholic priest responded to Max, saying his statement had the potential to start a fire with the biggest church establishment.
“Statements such as the one by the so-called PF Die Hard about Archbishop Mpundu will be understood as sanctioned by the party and will offend even Catholics who have been offended by what the Archbishop and others said,” Bwalya said.
“Others have walked this path they regretted; ask me. We should not forget that when Mwanawasa made that statement about Bishop Mpundu and treason, those who were on the side of PF supported Bishop Mpundu. Those who were on the side of MMD insulted ba Mpundu in support of Levy. So is history repeating itself? This matter is not too big but we can open battlefronts which are not even there and turn it into a big fire. We need to be very strategic.”
Bwalya said he also did not agree with the statement made by the Lusaka Archbishop, but stressed that insulting the church leadership was a dangerous path.
“Its okay to show that Archbishop Mpundu and others are wrong but to attack him in the manner Max has done is bad strategy. I personally think Archbishop Mpundu and others were wrong and clearly misguided on a number of issues they raised in their statement. If allowed I would systematically and with respect point out points of disagreement and not threatening to expose his dark side. Mark my words; even people offended by what His Grace said will be offended, leaving us with more avoidable casualties. Umweo waba mukutwi, I submit,” stated Bwalya.
About Joseph Mwenda
Joseph Mwenda is a Zambian journalist experienced in political news writing, photography and video editing.
Email: joseph [at] diggers [dot] news
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