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Catholic bishops commend Lungu’s quest for unity

CATHOLIC bishops have commended President Lungu for his efforts to unite Zambia by promoting tolerance.
And President Lungu has urged the Church to denounce tribalism at every occasion because it has proved to be the greatest challenge he has faced as Zambia’s head of State.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists, after the President held a one and half hour meeting with seven Catholic bishops at State House yesterday, the two parties had an open and frank conversation on a broad range of national issues.
Mr Chanda said Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) president Telesphore Mpundu, who spoke on behalf of the others during the meeting, urged the President not to tire in his efforts to unite Zambians.
“Archbishop Mpundu agreed to denounce tribalism at every occasion and told the President his efforts to fight tribalism are commendable and he must not tire,” he said.
Mr Chanda said the bishops said they would do their part to help Government in promoting national unity and the spirit of tolerance.
He said the bishops agreed on the need to have a clear line of separating the State and the Church while agreeing that the two parties work to serve the people.
Mr Chanda said bishops committed to supporting Government in education and health and improve the welfare of workers in those sectors.
He said tribalism and its effects took centre stage during the interaction and that the President urged the bishops to denounce the scourge, which keeps coming up during elections.
“The President expressed concern on the dangers which tribalism poses to the nation,” Mr Chanda said.
He said the President encouraged the bishops to work closely with the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious
Affairs to ensure the welfare of the Church continues to receive quick action.
“The two parties agreed on continued dialogue,” Mr Chanda said.
The bishops who attended the meeting were Alick Banda, who is ZCCB vice-president and bishop of Lusaka; George Lungu of Chipata; Charles Kasonde of Solwezi; Justine Mulenga of Mpika and
Valentine Kalumba of Livingstone.
Also present was Zambia Episcopal Conference secretary general
Cleophas Lungu and Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili.