The Catholic Church in Mpika has accused Information and Broadcasting minister Ronnie Shikapwasha of inciting Zambians to rise up against MMD government for linking it with the Rwanda genocide.
In a press statement released in Mpika today, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Caritas Mpika diocesan programme officer – governance, Mulenga Kaleya said Shikapwasha’s attacks on the Catholics were recipe for civil strive.
Utterances on the Catholic Church by the government chief spokesman was an indication that time for them was running out and that those in power were looking for reasons to justify their collapse.
“What honourable Ronnie Shikapwasha did is what genocide is. He was inciting Zambians and indirectly telling them what brought war in Rwanda by attacking innocent Catholics,” Kaleya said.
He said the ministerial statement Kapwasha had issued in Parliament on the Catholic Church was aimed at activating Zambians to bring his government down through unconstitutional means.
He reminded the information minister that the Catholic social teaching was a moral theology applied to social issues, the reflection of the Church on social realities, assessing them in the light of the gospel and offering guidelines for practical behaviour in society.
He said the Catholic Church calls for justice, serve those in need, pursue peace and work towards the full realization of dignity and rights of people both politicians and non politicians because they were all children of God.
Kaleya noted that if Shikapwasha was a genuine Reverend, he should publicly apologize for attacking the Catholics and misleading the nation that the Church promotes war.
“So as CCJP of Caritas Mpika diocese, we are demanding that honourable Ronnie Shikapwasha withdraws his statement in public and apologizes to the Catholic Church for the attack and to the nation for misleading us,” he said.
The programme officer governance prayed Shikapwasha would realize the importance of the birth of Jesus Christ by reconciling with Catholics and open a new chapter.
He vowed that Catholics would not tolerate such baseless remarks, but would continue fighting unjust utterances from persons like Shikapwasha.
He said the Catholics in the area had questioned Shikapwasha’s Church and his Christianity which seemed to be promoting hatred among the people of Zambia.
CCJP also took a swipe at Members of Parliament and ministers who are Catholic believers for their silence over the matter while Shikapwasha attacked the Church.
They wondered as to why Catholic Members of Parliament and ministers who were present at the time Shikapwasha was delivering a speech decided to remain quiet while some of them even joined in applauding the attacks on the Catholics.
Kaleya who reminded Catholic MPs to reflect on the social teaching of the Catholic Church and their role as Christian MPs and servants of people said Catholics in Mpika diocese were disappointed with their behaviour.