EDGAR Lungu used the innuendos of Synagogues and beautiful cathedrals to attack the Catholic Church, says Fr Joseph Mukuka.
In his homily during Africa Freedom Day mass service at Sacred Heart Parish in Kitwe yesterday, Fr Mukuka, who is assistant Parish priest, lamented that freedom remained mere rhetoric when the regime continues to suppress dissenting views.
He maintained that the recently convened National Dialogue Forum was not a collective decision of the Zambian populace but a few underlying forces that conspired to “introduce things that suited their agenda.”
“Now, we can say we are free in our country Zambia, we are free from colonial rule but at the end of the day, we are still in incarceration because some of the policies we formulate are not generated by us but some people who have the economic muscle. I am just giving an example, the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) don’t think it was orchestrated by people ‘up here’, it was by some underground forces or whatever you can call them who wanted to put something to suit them. Because if they went there to discuss about freedom for all humanity or the issues to better our lives, why were they complaining about allowances?” wondered Fr Mukuka.
“It was a shear waste of money and we say we are free, no one knows how much they spent, that’s taxpayers’ money and they are squeezing us…. The question we should ask ourselves is: are we able to stand and challenge our leaders that what you are doing is wrong? We are not free, nga walandako balekukonka namu church monse balekukonka (if you speak they follow you even in church). We are receiving a lot of anonymous calls, you don’t even know who is calling you, just because you are a voice of the voiceless, and what happens is, you are always targeted because you do not subscribe to what they do and what they say and that’s the situation you and I find ourselves today,” Fr Mukuka added.
He said Zambia was not poor because it was endowed with plenty of natural resources but that those who were charged with administering the resources had misplaced priorities.
He said singing the national anthem alone did not entail freedom.
“Stand and sing of Zambia proud and free. Umuntu pakwimba ifi kano naulya (for someone to sing like this, they should have eaten). The disciples wanted to send people away that people are hungry, Jesus said give them what you have, there was fish and bread. Where did food come from in the wilderness? We have plenty but the problem is greed. That’s why you can do anything to bounce back to power, even changing the law, we are fond of hiding in the constitution. Nga bamona ati tafilebacita suit balacinja law pakutila bakeminine (if they realize that things are not for them, they change the law to allow them to stand in elections).”
Giving his tenure at the parish as an example, Fr Mukuka said every leader must know that there was time to leave and when that time comes, “one has to abide and leave than wait for people to line up streets to demonstrate for one to leave power.”
“The same way I was introduced here standing there, is the same way I will bid farewell, tabafwaya ukufumapo (they don’t like leaving the seat)… there’s only one Zambia that’s what you should know. Nga ba miletela ama K100 icitenge, ama T-shirt mwalwa, mwapatana, aba abana bakaya kwisa (if they bring K100s, chitenge wrappers, t-shirts, you fight, hate each other, where will your children go)…especially when you disrespect the Church? Nga mwatampa ukulanda ati (if you start saying) those beautiful synagogues, the cathedrals you own. Who owns the cathedrals? It’s the Catholics, he didn’t end there, he even went on to say, bamona kwati batakatifu sana (they think they are holier than thou) who said the Catholic Church is the holiest than others but what you need to know is that the church is human and divine. Where there are people, there will be envy, there will be jealous, there will be scandals, I am not subscribing to scandals but I am saying the Church is not holy but we are heading towards that because God is the supreme being, He is the holiest nomba ngawalalanda ifyo and you claim to be Christian, he is not a Christian, if only they knew ubu Kristian efyo bwaba…” He said.
Fr Mukuka said it was important for leaders to endeavour to listen to what others were saying and not surround themselves with bootlickers.