Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu’s warning of violence after 2021 elections is premature and inflammatory

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The warning of chaos in Zambia after the 2021 general elections by former Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu is premature and inflammatory which must never come from religious leaders, the Young African Leaders Initiative has said.

YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza says it will be unfortunate if the sentiments by Archbishop Mpundu represent the views of the Catholic Church and the Bishops.

Mr. Mwanza said although the Catholic Church worldwide has never been known to perpetuate ideas which may incite the bad elements in society, YALI are also alive to the fact that some of the atrocities in which the people have participated have been fueled by irresponsible and careless statements by individual bishops.

He cited the genocide in Rwanda as one heinous crime that was perpetuated by individual members of the clergy who worked with some politicians.

Mr. Mwanza has since called on Archbishop Mpundu to reflect on his recent remarks that may be used as justification by some bad elements within society to cause mayhem and atrocious acts when they lose elections.

He has also reminded Arch Bishop Mpundu that the failure of the church-ZCID led national dialogue has been due to selfish ambitions among those who were tasked to lead the process as they kept bickering on taking the whole cake to themselves.

Mr. Mwanza said the Archbishop should have appreciated that Government has taken steps to give the national dialogue by giving it the legal framework rather than just leave it to the whims of those who wanted the prestige of chairing the process.

He has called on young people in Zambia to avoid being moved by inflammatory sentiments to cause violence when people lose elections.

“In any electoral competition, there can only be one winner of elections and those aggrieved with the result have the right to use legally provided means to air their grievances”, Mr. Mwanza has said.


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