AFRICA/ZAMBIA - The Bishops in view of the elections in August: "No to discrimination and incitement to hatred"

Friday, 29 January 2016 bishops   elections  

Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - The multiparty democracy in Zambia is at risk for the spread of intolerance, regionalism and tribalism. This is what the Bishops of Zambia say in a statement issued at the end of their Plenary Assembly and sent to Agenzia Fides.
"We applaud the nation that, even with the persistent culture of intolerance in our politics, Zambia is still a functional multiparty democracy with a plural political environment", write the Bishops. "We however decry the failure by the Zambian people to assume a rooted democratic culture of tolerating each others’ views and political choices".
The document denounces the hateful language used by political leaders who "have failed to show good democratic credentials which they should put into practice. This does not give us hope for a clean and peaceful electoral process as we go towards the 11th August 2016 tripartite elections".
The Bishops also launch the alarm on the "new dangerous phenomenon that has cropped up in the Zambian politics of regionalism and tribalism". "Our founding mothers and fathers invested a lot of energy to ensure that Zambians see and treat each other as brothers and sisters regardless of tribe, race or religion. Why should this be an issue in our politics today?".
The message concludes with an appeal to everyone to avoid incitement to hatred and discrimination of any kind and work for reconciliation and the search for the common good. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/01/2016)