JACK Kalala is asking if Given Lubinda, Professor Nkandu Luo, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, Sebastian Kopulande, Sydney Mushanga and other PF members of parliament and ministers will defy their Catholic faith and support Bill 10.
“Will the Catholic MPs stand by their faith like Joseph did in Genesis 39:1-23? Will they resist temptations as Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13?” Kalala asked. “We will see how they will demonstrate their faith and obedience to the Church. Will they be obedient to the call of the Church or will they defy the call? Remember, when the hierarchy has made a decision on any point Catholics are bound to obey their directives.”
He says Bill10 is dictatorship, “lilomba, once created it will turn against anyone, including PF Cabinet ministers and members of parliament, who will try to stand in its path and devour them”.
Kalala urged supporters of Constitution (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 to learn from what has happened to Kelvin Fube Bwalya (KBF).
“He [KBF] did everything possible to make [Edgar] Lungu become President. Today KBF has gone from a trusted ally to an ostracized outcast simply for expressing his democratic right to wish to challenge President Lungu at their convention,” noted Kalala. All those who toiled to make Lungu to go to State House are today eating the bitter fruits of the tree they planted, namely Chishimba Kambwili and Harry Kalaba. They are not even allowed to visit their own villages.”
In a statement, themed ‘The Pastoral Letter Vs Bill10’, Kalala said PF and President Lungu should not take people for granted.
He said the Catholic Church leadership should be highly commended for issuing a pastoral letter calling for the withdraw of Bill10 from the floor of Parliament to allow for genuine consultations with all stakeholders to arrive at a common consensus on the constitution.
Kalala said a republican Constitution is a document for all citizens and was different from the constitution of a political party that serves partisan interests.
“While the national Constitution is inclusive, the constitution of a political party is exclusive. Unlike a party constitution, the national constitution is a sacrosanct document that carries the aspirations of the people of a particular country and its provisions cannot be breached without severe consequences,” he said. “People who serve in public institutions swear to be loyal to it and to defend it. A President can be impeached for breaching its provisions. That is how sacrosanct a national constitution is. It is for this reason that its formulation should be taken seriously, and the process should involve every citizen to reach a collective consensus. It should not be taken lightly or used for selfish motives.”
Kalala said it was because of its grave importance that the Catholic Church leadership found it necessary to issue a pastoral letter calling for the immediate withdraw of Bill10 from the floor of the House, which is due for the second reading.
“The Catholic Church has acted timely to speak for the voiceless silent majority. In addition, the pastoral letter is a policy decision by the Catholic hierarchy, which is binding on the faithful as stated in Mater et Magistra, the Encyclical Letter of His Holiness John XXIII. #239 states that: ‘…Needless to say, when the hierarchy has made a decision on any point Catholics are bound to obey their directives. The Church has the right and obligation not merely to guard ethical and religious principles, but also to declare its authoritative judgment in the matter of putting these principles into practice.
#240 states: These, then, are the educational principles, which must be put into effect. It is a task, which belongs particularly to our sons, the laity, for it is their lot to live an active life in the world and to organize themselves for the attainment of temporal ends,” Kalala noted. “#241 states: In performing this task, which is a noble one, they must only be well qualified in their trade or profession and practice it in accordance with its own proper laws, they must also bring their professional activity into conformity with the Church’s social teaching. Their attitude must be one of loyal trust and filial obedience to ecclesiastical authority. They must remember, too, that if in the transaction of their temporal affairs they take no account of those social principles, which the Church teaches, and which we now confirm, then they fail in their obligations and may easily violate the rights of others. They may even go so far as to bring discredit on the Church’s teaching, lending substance to the opinion that, in spite of its intrinsic value, it is in fact powerless to direct men’s lives’.”
He said given that encyclical, the bishops’ pastoral letter was a call to order and a binding guidance to members of the Catholic faithful on Bill 10.
“These include the Catholics faithful who are in the PF government, namely Honourable Given Lubinda, Professor Nkandu Luo, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, Hon. Jean Kapata, Hon. Sebastian Kopulande, Sydney Mushanga, and, in indeed, many other PF Cabinet ministers and MPs who are practicing Catholics,” Kalala said. “The pastoral letter is a call to choose between Jesus Christ and Barabbas. Will the Catholic MPs stand by their faith like Joseph did in Genesis 39:1-23? Will they stand by their faith as Daniel did in Daniel 6:1-28? Will they remain faithful as Daniel’s three friends in Daniel 3:8-25. Will they resist temptations as Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13? We will see how they will demonstrate their faith and obedience to the Church. Will they be obedient to the call of the Church or will they defy the call? President Lungu who also claims to be a Christian, will he listen to the Church’s call? It is a litmus test of their faith. PF members of parliament, ministers inclusive, should be wary of consequences of their action and draw lessons from past experiences. Adam and Eve ignored the advice given to them by their Creator. They subsequently reaped the fruit of their choice.”
He said those Catholics in the House would receive the rewards of their choices.
“I am surprised that Dr Bwalya Ng’andu and Hon. Sebastian Kopulande should be supporting the reintroduction of dictatorship through Bill 10 when in 1990/1 and in 2001 they were among those that gallantly stood up to fight the one party state and the third term attempt. What is their conscience telling them?” Kalala asked. “The PF members of parliament should be mindful that if they proceed to create a monster in Bill 10, it would turn around to destroy not only the democracy and the opposition parties but the country and themselves as well. Do what is right and you will get good results. If you create a monster you will live to regret it. You will find yourself in “Mwamona nomba!” as Chishimba Kambwili would say.
Kalala, a special assistant to president Levy Mwanawasa – Policy & Project Implementation and Monitoring, said the pastoral letter on Bill 10, having come from a neutral and non-partisan source, was a timely counsel to the promoters and supporters of the bill. “It has been given in good faith and in national interest. Those who are concerned should take it seriously. It would be imprudent of them to destroy the democracy that put them in power. They should not abuse the privilege and honour that the people of Zambia extended to them in good faith,” urged Kalala.