LUSAKA lawyer Christopher Mundia has described remarks by Bishop of Mongu Diocese Paul Duffy that there is lack of development in Western Province as disgusting, considering the massive investment by the Government in the area.
Mr Mundia, who is a State counsel, said Bishop Duffy and other Catholic clergy did not have the right to speak for the people of Western Province especially the Mongu-based bishop whose allegiance to the Zambian people was minimal since he was a foreigner.
“I wish to state that as one of those that hail from Western Province better known as Barotseland, I am disgusted to listen to what comes out of Bishop Duffy’s mouth which is akin to a can of worms,” he said.
Mr Mundia said Bishop Duffy and other members of the Catholic clergy who have their own motives against President Banda’s administration should avoid hiding behind their religious collars because the current record of the Catholic clergy world over was that of misery and total disappointment.
He said he had been to Western Province three times lately and agreed that the province suffered injustice during the Chiluba and UNIP eras and the province, which was the most highly educated was rendered the least.
“But since coming to power of the late President Levy Mwanawasa and continued by President Banda, no sensible person can say that Western Province is neglected now,” Mr Mundia said.
He cited development projects such as the Mongu/Kalabo Road, Senanga/Sesheke Road, the forthcoming rail line from North-Western Province via Kaoma, Mongu, Senanga and Sesheke to Namibia and Livingstone, Mulobezi, Sesheke and Namibia as big projects for the province.
“My plea to all my fellow countrymen and compatriots is that this country is ours individually and severally under our motto of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’. Foreigners should not be allowed to divide us as Zambians are one in diversity,” Mr Mundia said.
He said there were atrocities committed against the innocent people by the Catholic clergy in countries such as United States of America where the Church had paid more than US$600 million arising from sexual abuses and scandals on innocent teenagers.
Mr Mundia reminded Bishop Duffy that some institutions in Ireland and German had been closed as announced during the recent papal visit to the United Kingdom.
He said Zambians had accepted to work as united entities, which had been, demonstrated when Zambians allowed leaders from various provinces to rule them without consideration for origins. He said Dr Kenneth Kaunda, who hails from Northern Province ruled for 27 years and later Zambians voted for Dr Fredrick Chiluba from Luapula, who was followed by late Dr Levy Mwanawasa from Central Province and we are now led by a head of State from the Eastern Province.
Mr Mundia described as unfortunate a decision by Father Paul Mpundu to support Bishop Duffy’s remarks.
“To the people of Western Province, I wish to say and endorse what the royal establishment has said that, yes, we have problems of under-development but they are being tackled by this current administration,” Mr Mundia said.
TIMES OF ZAMBIA