By Kombe Mataka Tue 01 July 2014 GOOD Shepherd Catholic Church Priest Fr Adelarde Munishi says power-hungry politicians should not be allowed to divide Zambians. And Fr Munishi has asked the church to pray for the good health of President Michael Sata as he continues leading the nation. In an interview yesterday, Fr Munishi, who was also celebrating 20 years of priesthood, a period he said was dear to him, said democracy should not be used to create confusion and divisions for political mileage.
Fr Munishi said after 50 years of independence, politicians in the country must seriously reflect on what value they were adding to politics and the democratic dispensation. “From the time of independence, Zambia has been enjoying unity and peace. Our people marry from different tribes. There is no tribalism per se that exists in this country as compared to other countries which I am not going to mention but for me, I think that as we go along with the so-called democracy, and multiparty democracy maybe we are not ready, because we have seen some politicians creating unnecessary divisions because of the so-called political parties. I think our leaders have to be a bit serious,” Fr Munishi said. “You find people of this party belong to this tribe and this belongs to this tribe and another to that tribe. This, somehow, is detrimental to the peace and unity we have been enjoying in the country and I think the politicians have to be serious not to divide us because of power they may want to acquire, and this has to be reflected now as we celebrate 50 years of independence this year.” Fr Munishi said politicians must seriously review their interpretation of the dictates of democracy if they were going to make any meaningful contributions to the citizen’s wellbeing. “Are we really ready for this multiparty democracy? Or is it just a push from somewhere which we have embraced which actually does not fit in our structures? I am not against multiparty democracy. For me, it is a big challenge and we have to go back; not to a one-party system but the unity which was there (at the time),” Fr Munishi said. “If one belongs to one political party and I don’t, why should they be my enemy? Why should I join a political party because the leader is from my tribe, for example? I think the Zambians have to come out and say ‘I am not supporting a particular candidate because they come from my tribe or region’ but because that person’s vision for the country is good.” Fr Munishi said that people should not support and elect people based on patronage, but on their ability to deliver. “Some politicians we have been with them; we know them. Some politicians give us a million promises which they cannot fulfil,” he said. The clergyman said Zambia could not enhance its development without peace, unity and tranquillity.
Meanwhile, Fr Munishi called on the church to pray for the good health of President Sata.
“If the Head of State is not well, it is human, why we should we speculate? The question of somebody’s health is for the patient and the doctor. It is not for public consumption, unless the patient accepts that this can be for public consumption,” he said. “So for me if our leader is not okay, he is human. I don’t see why people should speculate, and I think as a church we have to discourage our members from doing so. What we have to do is pray for the President for good health because he is there for all Zambians.”