ZUMANI KATASEFA, MONICA KAYOMBO
MORE stakeholders have commended President Lungu’s democratic and open-door policy in dealing with national matters by allowing Catholic bishops to have access to incarcerated United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema.
Opposition Democratic Assembly (DA) president Maxwell Mwamba said President Lungu’s move to allow Catholic bishops to have access to Hichilema is a step in the right direction.
Mr Mwamba called on the President to broaden the scope of visitation to other church leaders and opposition political leaders.
He said the gesture is the beginning of positive things Zambians expect to hear from the President and his Government.
“This avenue of thinking by the President must be applauded and embraced by all peace-loving Zambians and should encourage chiefs, opposition leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that in the midst of many allegations, there is a flicker of hope ….,” he said.
Speaking in a separate interview,Ndola Worship Centre bishop Newton Mulenga said President Lungu’s action is a clear demonstration that he means well.
“That was a very good decision and we welcome it because what we want to see is our politicians to get and move together,” he said.
Bishop Mulenga has also commended the Catholic bishops for taking a bold step to meet the President.
“I would advise that we have a bigger picture of Zambia. Let us let go of our differences and look at our nation. Zambia is a good country and we have to make it a better one,” he said.
He said the Church is the country’s conscious and that what the Catholic bishops have done is a great step towards the reconciliation process.
“We have seen this happen between the late President Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata. It is a good thing for our great nation,” bishop Mulenga said.
On Friday, the Catholic bishops, led by Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, met President Lungu at State House and the head of State granted them access to the opposition leader.