PF president Edgar Lungu will soon travel to the Vatican in Italy to try and ask the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis, to ask local Bishops from criticizing the PF regime.
Lungu will either fly direct from Ethiopia where he is currently or will return to Zambia then after a short period travel to Italy where, among other things he will shop for Italian designer suits for the last time before elections.
Lungu is concerned that, unlike a few Pentecostals he has manipulated and converted to his political evangelism, the Catholic Church in Zambia has refused to be hoodwinked and accept his politicization of the Church. The Catholic Church has refused to be part of what he calls ‘national house of prayer’ saying the church already has designated houses of prayers constructed even before Lungu’s great grandparents were born. As if to challenge him directly, the Catholic Church has banned politicians from issuing political statements in Church and has ordered the Church to stop inviting such politicians for the sole purpose of campaigning. This was a day after Lungu visited a Catholic Church in Chawama and turned it into a political rally while dancing with one of his women Mumbi Phiri.
Just this week, the Catholic Bishops issued a Pastoral Letter in which they condemned the hate speech and tribalism which Lungu and his ministers and officials are championing and counting on to win the next elections.
Lungu therefore sees the Catholic Church as a stumbling block to his reelection.
The purpose of his visit to the Vatican will therefore be to try to ‘bribe’ the Pope and ask him to order the Zambian Bishops to support him and stop issuing any statements that are seen to be against the PF government.
But the Watchdog is reliably informed that the Vatican has not yet given Lungu an appointment to see the Pope for the purpose of back biting.
‘The plan was that he will go straight from Ethiopia to Rome but we have not received a response from the Vatican on our request,’ a government source told the Watchdog.
It is possible that the Vatican is still consulting the local Bishops before granting Lungu an appointment.
Lungu has always been trying to ignore local Bishops by trying to create an impression that he has a direct relationship with the Pope.
When the Catholic Church in Zambia refused to be part of the so called house of prayer Lungu and his PF preachers are constructing, Lungu invited a representative of the Pope, Archbishop Julio Murat to meet him at state House therefore creating an image that the local bishops are nothing.
But during the UN meeting in New York last, Lungu’s attempts to receive a hug from the Pope failed despite placing camera men to capture the event.