CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
THE Southern Royal Foundation of Chiefs has commended President Lungu for granting Catholic bishops access to incarcerated opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema to
discuss the need for dialogue and national reconciliation.
On Friday, the Catholic bishops met President Lungu at State House and discussed a wide range of issues including the need for the head of State to use his office to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation.
During the meeting, it was agreed that the bishops, led by Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, visit Mr Hichilema to deliver the message of genuine dialogue and reconciliation.
Southern Royal Foundation of Chiefs chairperson Chief Chikanta said in an interview yesterday that President Lungu’s decision to meet the bishops is worth commending by all citizens who value peace and dialogue.
Chief Chikanta commended the President for his continuous efforts to dialogue with the Church and traditional leaders on various issues of national interest.
“That was the right thing to do by His Excellency [the President], it was also a good initiative for the clergymen to meet the President. Dialogue is always the right thing to do especially amid our current situation in the country,” Chief Chikanta said.
He said President Lungu’s meeting with the clergymen is a clear indication of his resolve to promote dialogue with different stakeholders, such as the Church and chiefs.
“When he was here (last week), he openly told us to feel free to call him so that we can dialogue. He told us that he is ready to dialogue, which is a very good gesture,” Chief Chikanta said.
He said traditional leaders will also help foster genuine dialogue and unity between Government and the UPND to promote peace and national unity.
“Even us [chiefs], we will see how best we can help foster dialogue between these people [President Lungu and Mr Hichilema],” Chief Chikanta said.