CHIPATA Diocese Auxiliary Bishop Benjamin Phiri says lack of justice and equity is what is leading to violence in the country. During the Holy Saturday mass, Bishop Phiri said it was unfortunate that people were turning to violence as a way of resolving their differences.
“It is only when there is peace of heart and mind that there could be peace in the community. Let us put to an end to political violence and Gender Based Violence. Let us learn to resolve our differences in a peaceful manner. Let there be justice and equity in the society,” he said. “Perhaps the lack of justice and equity is what is leading to violence. To this end the churches must strive to remain the oasis of peace to which people can run to in times of need.”
Bishop Phiri observed that more people were turning to violence as way of resolving their differences both in homes and in the public forum.
“And just today (Saturday) I was listening to the news during the day only to hear that there was another act of violence in Lusaka where this
police officer just went and started shooting people because he had quarreled with his girlfriend. So two people died and three are in hospital. This is the violence we are talking about,” he said.
“As I said, we seem to be very angry, most of us, we are very angry all the time and when something goes wrong then we turn to violence.”
Bishop Phiri urged people to seek peace “in this Easter climate” by turning more to God and find peace within themselves.
He also called for dialogue in the country.
“There may be a lot of disagreements on the form the dialogue should take but what is indisputable is the need for this dialogue. We need to continue discussing our differences in the manner we want to do things in our communities and in the country so that we can be helped to find peaceful resolutions. Thus it is important for us to take
advantage of any opportunity that comes for us to talk,” he urged. “I am saying this because there are different forums talking about dialogue at
different levels. When one group organises some kind of dialogue, one group says we are not taking part. When the other group organises some kind of dialogue, the other group says ‘we are not taking part’. It means the groups are pushing their own agendas; it’s not for the best interest of the community.”
Bishop Phiri urged people to always find time to talk to each other.
“If we stop talking to each other, it is clear that our frustration will find another avenue to come out and we shall begin fighting with each other,” he said. “There is need for all parties to have the spirit of give and take. The churches have to be careful to be seen to be neutral so that they may remain relevant to the chores. Let us this Easter pray for this spirit of fraternity and openness to sincere dialogue to take this nation forward.”
Bishop Phiri called for an end to child and teen pregnancies in the country.
“For the sake of the integrity of our nation, it is important that we promote good morals for our future generations by allowing our children to have the education they need in order to become
responsible citizens in future,” he said. “We must not curtail, we must not cut short the integral human development and growth of our children by marrying them off before time as a way of shifting our responsibility as parents or indeed as an economic promotion venture. Teen pregnancies interrupt the growth of the child and they are a danger to the stable future of the children involved. It is always very distressing when adults themselves are involved in these teen pregnancies. This erodes the moral fibre of the society in a very serious way. Let us therefore, in the spirit of this Easter always promote good morals in our communities and let us guide our children well.”
Bishop Phiri also appealed for an end to substance abuse by the youth saying such does a lot of physical harm to them.
He called on the youth to turn to God and the Church for better formation.
Bishop Phiri appealed for generous help to the needy in society.
He urged the people to continue rendering support to the victims of the Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.