(By Chambwa Moonga in Kabwe)
A CATHOLIC priest in Kabwe has told Bahati PF member of parliament Harry Kalaba to be an ambassador of peace and to preach about the virtue in his political activities because “we are fed up with bloodshed in the political arena”.
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus priest Fr Isaac Tapiwa Mbewe, in welcoming Kalaba in Church yesterday, urged the former foreign affairs minister and 2021 aspiring presidential candidate not to tolerate cadreism.
Fr Mbewe also said Kalaba, who was accompanied by Zambia’s former Ambassador to Egypt, Cecil Holmes, ought not to be intimidated to go and worship wherever he wanted.
“Make sure that you preach peace even to those who follow you. There’s too much blood in the political arena and we pray that this maturity that you have exhibited will continue and we hope that you will better the lives of so many Zambians. Fight for the wellbeing of Zambians. Ichintu chimbi (the other thing), you are free to worship anywhere; you can come to the cathedral or any Catholic Church and there’s no one who can question you ‘why mwachisako (why did you come?),” he said.
“I’m a priest for all and you are my son. So, feel free to come at any time. Continue with the same kind of politics that you are preaching, tatulefwaya ama politics ayakwitana amashina yafinama (we don’t want politics laden with tags of animal names), amashina yansele (insults). Those are old politics of Stone Age, munshita yabena (during the time of) homo habilis. So, be an ambassador of peace; preach peace and we are fed up with bloodshed in the political arena. Enough is enough – we need clean politics.”
The clergyman underscored that Zambians needed to change the narrative of political violence that outsiders were now beginning to believe.
“We need to change the way people look at us…. They (outsiders) know that in order for one to aspire and ascend to the presidency, they should use violence. But that is not right [because] Christ preached peace. I wish you (Kalaba) God’s blessings. Be an ambassador of peace, be a humble and sober politician we’ve known and represent us so well so that 10, 30 years from now, you will look at this privilege that God has given you with eyes of gratitude and eyes of greatness. May God strengthen you from strength to strength,” he said.
And when delivering his homily, Fr Mbewe told congregants to always show love to each other because the trait was unparalleled.
He insisted that love among people made their lives progressive.
“Nga twakwata ichitemwiko tatwakepayane (when we have love, we will not kill one another), nga twakwata ichitemwiko tapali umuntu ukafwa nensala (when we have love, no one will starve), nga twakwata ichitemwiko takwakabe ukweba ati aba bekala ukwa aba bekala ku (when we have love, there will be no one condemned to live in a slum while others privileged to live in an uptown suburb). Naba kwa nabo balefwaika ukukwata ama tar marks (even those living in slums need tarred roads),” preached Fr Mbewe.
“When we love one another, even kids that are unable to go to school, on account of user fees, we will find a way [for them] to go to school. Ichitemwiko echachila fyonse (love conquers all). When we prioritise love, we will not even see who belongs to PF or UPND. We are one despite having divergent issues! Mostly during political campaigns, I fear because politicians divide us. But when all goes wrong, the politicians will flee and leave us trapped in warfare.”
Kalaba later went to Christian Peace Centre Ministries for another service.