Practicing Stone Age politics in Zambia – Stop political violence – interview with Archbishop Mpundu of Lusaka.

The Post LogoIt’s primitive … you don’t convince people using sticks, fists or whatever to vote for you. By Abel Mboozi, The Post Newspaper in Zambia, 29th Feb, 2016

You don’t convince people using sticks, fists or whatever for them to vote for you, we want ideas, says Lusaka Diocese Archbishop Telesphore-George Mpundu-2015-PNG. And Mpundu says those in political leadership are practicing Stone Age politics by failing to condemn violence being perpetrated by their followers. Meanwhile, the Archbishop says Zambians are being short-changed by politicians in top leadership who maintain that the country is peaceful when they are failing to stop political violence.

In an interview, Archbishop Mpundu said although political violence has been in existence since the colonial era, there has been no political will especially from the top administrative leadership to stop the ugly acts. “If your top political leadership is committed to nonviolence, they will take all the steps necessary to prevent that violence. In 2010, we had the Mufumbwe by-election and I was on record to say that ‘if this is a dress rehearsal of what is going to happen next year’, meaning in 2011, ‘then we are in for a rough time’. This shouldn’t happen; these are Stone Age politics when you are using brutal violence. You don’t convince people using sticks, fists and whatever, whatever…we want ideas. The electorate must hear ideas of how to take the country forward and not physical force because that is Stone Age politics,” Archbishop Mpundu said.

“When we are saying political violence didn’t begin yesterday, we go back to independence time. Very few people were there and they think violence began yesterday. No, it began before independence when at the time our nationalists differed, one led by Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula. The African National Congress and UNIP were always at loggerheads and violence was there. Now this violence is generated by certain people and this violence is conceived and carried out with the knowledge of the top leadership.”

He explained that after independence, violence continued between the ANC and UNIP and in 1968, there was a new political party that was formed on the Copperbelt called United Party, led by Nalumino Mundia. “This party was spreading like wild fire. Now the political leadership in the administration of UNIP, what did they do? They sent vigilantes to bring about trouble, beat up people and so on and said ‘it must be the new party causing this violence’, so it was proscribed.  In 1971, the UPP under Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe was formed again and the same method from UNIP was used to label it violent and so it was proscribed. Kapwepwe at one time was vice-president of Zambia and was beaten up in Kabwata and we didn’t hear any public condemnation of that, let alone an apology. That is how it has been all the time,” Archbishop Mpundu recalled. “Now we have come out of one party state, we had cadres sending people by air. This is primitive. If there is political will from the top political leadership, this [violence] can be stopped!”

And Archbishop Mpundu said the police should operate professionally and that anyone engaged in violence should be arrested and jailed for their dastardly acts. “…let the police do their job professionally without giving a preference to anybody. If you break the law, you should be made to face the law and that is that. Violence has been endemic in Zambian politics much to our shame and when this shame comes in, follows our politicians wherever they go, they say Zambia is a peaceful country. We are being short-changed. How can there be a peaceful country if they allow political violence? No!” said Archbishop Mpundu.

“This is the message that all church leaders, and particularly us as Zambia Episcopal Conference, try to proclaim time and again, in season and out of season: no political violence. It’s primitive, it’s criminal and anybody involved in this vice must be followed and prosecuted and put behind bars.”

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 28 février 2016

Mafrwestafrica 02Aujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site

Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Notre Supérieur Général nommé évêque de Wa ». Le Père Richard Baawobr, vient d’être nommé évêque de son diocèse d’origine, le diocèse de Wa au Ghana(lire la suite)
« Réunion des provinciaux à Tunis » cette réunion a permis aux provinciaux de se retrouver pendant 9 jours, du 19 au 28 février (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :
« Le père Joseph Scherrer » le récit de la vie de ce père qui a vécu de 1897 à 1993, et a été très engagé dans la mission au Mali. (lire la suite)
« A propos de la formation initiale » un texte du père Jean Michel Laurent, qui est secrétaire à la formation initiale dans la société des M.Afr. (lire la suite)
« Anselme Tarpaga, depuis Alger ». Notre confrère Anselme, originaire de Bobo-Dioulasso, et qui est le nouveau recteur de la basilique N.D. D’Afrique à Alger, parle à la fois de son chemin personnel et du travail qu’il a à accomplir. (lire la suite)
« Prières de délivrance et de guérison ». Le père Bernhard Udelhoven partage son expérience de ministère auprès des malades et personnes en difficulté (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Dialogue interreligieux » :
« Jérusalem, conseil œcuménique mondial » : le conseil œcuménique mondial des Églises s’est tenu dans la ville sainte du 9 au 11 février 2016
 (lire la suite)
« François et Kirill à la Havane » pour se rencontrer et signer un texte demandant que cesse la persécution des chrétiens et autres personnes victimes de persécution (lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » : 
« La question des migrants, encore et toujours » : cette question est loin d’être résolue, en particulier à Calais où tant de personnes souhaitent aller en grande Bretagne
(lire la suite)

Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« Débuts de l’Église en Ouganda » un article du Père Richard Nnyombi, lui-même originaire de ce pays, dans « Voix d’Afrique » n° 109 (lire la suite)

Newsletter South Africa No 60 – 26th February, 2016

Newsletter South Africa no 60 titlelentGreetings in this season of Lent! By the way, do you know what the meaning of the word “Lent” is? Here is a definition from a Catholic website: “The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon lencten, meaning “Spring”, and lenctentid which literally means not only “Springtide”, but also was the word for “March”, the month in which the majority of Lent falls” (Catholic Education Resource Centre). Of course, here in the southern hemisphere, the time of Lent does not fall in spring, but at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. So, the meaning of new life brought in nature through the spring flowers, plants and leaves, is not so obvious. Therefore, let us ourselves be signs of this new life brought to us by Jesus through his passion, death and resurrection. May this Lenten season be an opportunity for each of us to give life through our prayer, acts of mercy and self-sacrifice.

I think the big news for this month is that our Superior General Fr, Richard Baawobr (Ghanaian) has been chosen by Pope Francis to become the Bishop of his home diocese of Wa in northern Ghana! This appointment comes just at the end of his term at the helm of our Society. Indeed, he will be ordained bishop on 7th May, and on 13th he will preside our 28th General Chapter (held every six years) when a new Superior General will be elected. Congratulations!

In the same line of thoughts, another good piece of good news: the appointment of Fr. Duncan Tsoke, Vicar General of Johannesburg Archdiocese, as Auxiliary Bishop. We are very pleased with the choice. Fr. Tsoke, as a young priest, spent more than one year with us, M.Afr, for his training in pastoral work. We are happy as well to consider Bishop Abel Gabuza (Kimberley Diocese) and Bishop Peter Holiday (Kroonstad Diocese) as our good friends because they too spent some time with us in their training as young priests. Fr. Duncan will be ordained Bishop on 30th April in Regina Mundi, Soweto. Congratulations!

Jones Kawisha 2016B_JPEGAnother important piece of news: a young M.Afr has just arrived in South Africa to be a staff member in our Formation House of Merrivale and to teach at Cedara. A few years ago, in our Provincial Blog, he introduced himself: “I am Jones Kawisha from Kabwe, Zambia. I was ordained priest in 2008 and appointed to the Maghreb province. I am in the community of Tizi Ouzou in Algeria since 2009. Encounter has been my priority and my main apostolate. My experience has been positive and rich. In September this year, I will be going to Paris to study Theology of Religions in order to have a broader understanding of different religions to enrich my encounter apostolate….” In 2011, on his way to Zambia, for a well-deserved holiday before going to Paris, Fr. Jones spent a few days with us in Edenglen community. On 9th July 2011, some of you aspirants had a chance to meet him during a Come & See in Koinonia. There, he gave us a very interesting talk on his vocation and his work as a missionary among Muslims in Algeria (See Newsletter No 6, 25th July 2011). Fr. Jones did his noviciate in Burkina Faso. Fr. Jan De Groef, M.Afr, was then one of his formators, and is now bishop of Bethlehem Diocese in the Free State.

Only One RaceThis month, we engaged on an anti-racism campaign called “Only One Race, The Human Race”. We printed fifty thousand leaflets which we distribute in parishes, schools and any other public areas. The need for racial harmony has never been so urgent in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Let us pray for a better understanding and love among all people. Please, pray also for those who paid for the printing of these leaflets.

Wishing you all a good Lenten journey and a happy ascent to Easter!

Newsletter South Africa No 60

Return to the Lord of Brother Eugene Leonard, M.Afr

eugene_leonard copieFr. Terry Madden, Provincial of Great Britain informed us of the return to the Lord of Brother Eugene Leonard, M.Afr, who died on the 17th January 2016, in St Francis Nursing Home, Glasgow, Great Britain at the age of 89 years old of which 60 of missionary life
in Luxembourg, Malawi and in Great Britain. Brother Leonard was in Malawi from 1958 till 1985 in various missions such as Mzambazi, Katete, Mzimba, Nkhamenya, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay, Karonga, Kaseye, Katete, all those places in Mzuzu Diocese. He was also in Lilongwe between 1990 and 1995.

Lungu attends mass at St. Joseph Parish in France

By Patrick Bataille, M.Afr

President Lungu with St Joseph Parish priest Fr Aidan TroyJacques Amyot d’InvillePresident Edgard Lungu of Zambia went to pray at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, the English Parish in Paris, on Sunday the 7th February. The Mass was a normal Sunday service with the usual congregation. Father Authur Mc Cann, Parish Priest, presided and was assisted by our two confreres, Jacques Amyot d’Inville, who worked in Zambia a long time ago, and Bernard Baudon who worked in Tanzania. I arrived in the middle of the Mass because I did not get the right time. The President was accompanied by his delegation. He also had several agents of the French security around him. The delegation was not very important. According to me, the guests were very few because they are not many Zambians in France. At the end of the Mass, I joined the priests who were greeting the people and the President and his wife came to shake hands. We just said few words, even in Bemba. I hoped to see Harry Kalaba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former novice at Kahangala in Zambia. I was told he was there but I have not met him. After Mass the delegation went to have a meal in the suburb of Paris.

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