UPND Spokesperson Charles Kakoma says Church leaders in the country must stand firm against intimidation from the State.

In a statement, Kakoma commended the Church mother bodies who issued a strong statement on the breakdown of law and order in Zambia, saying the truth was the only virtue that would set Zambia free.

“The Church’s truthful stance on the happenings in Zambia is a clear indication that indeed there is a total break down in the rule of law brought about by the Patriotic Front (PF) Party and its leaders. In the last few months, the people of Zambia have been looking to the Church to provide guidance on the way forward in relation to the political crisis facing the country,” Kakoma stated.

“As United Party for National Development (UPND), we would like to thank the church mother bodies in Zambia for choosing to tell the truth. It is only telling the truth that shall set Zambia free. Unfortunately, the truth hurts.”

kakoma indicated that those criticising the statement by the three Church mother bodies and Bishop Telespho Mpundu in particular were hurt by the truth contained in it.

“We have observed that some Zambians, who are hurt by the truth, have started criticising the leaders of the Church Mother Bodies who presided over the press conference to announce their decisions. We would like to encourage the church leaders to soldier on. The stance they have taken will attract intimidation, threats and harassment from people who do not believe in the rule of law, human rights and freedoms, free media and democracy in general,” he said.

Kakoma challenged those who were attacking the affected Church leaders to defend their arguments.

“Those who are attacking the church leaders should tell the nation whether or not the Church wanted to see President Edgar Lungu and State House declined them and whether or not the Church had an agenda to discuss with President Lungu. They should also state if UPND President Hakainde Hichilema is incarcerated on treason charges or not. They should tell the nation if presidential election petition was heard and who was declared the validly elected candidate,” stated Kakoma.

“We therefore support the stance taken by the Church Mother Bodies to call for dialogue so that the country can have peace, unity and restore democracy to our country.”