Use cheaper transport, priest advises RB

By Ernest Mwape-President Rupiah Banda has been urged to refrain from misusing taxpayers’ money by chartering planes to undertake unproductive excursions within the country.

Mpika based Catholic priest Father Joseph Besa says the MMD government had become tyranny.

Father Besa warned that lack of tolerance among those in power was fanning confusion which if not checked might bring about untold misery in the country.

Father Besa noted that the activities of most leaders were comparable to a story of Nebuchadnezzar who never accommodated divergence views, always exploited and intimidated his subjects because he wanted to cling to power. “What we are currently witnessing is exactly what we read in the Bible where Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon oppressed and intimidated his subjects because he wanted to fit tightly to power,” Father Besa explained. Quoting from Isaiah Chapter 35: 4 – 7, James Chapter 2: 1 – 5 and Mark Chapter 7: 31 – 37 which were the readings for last Sunday, the Clergyman said when Catholic Church points out the wrongs in the government; it was not politicking but merely interpreting the Bible.

He reminded the flock that the Church would continue advocating for good governance and talking against evils being committed by those in power because it was its social teaching and that it wanted to protect the voiceless in the country.

He explained that Clergymen could not preach the word of God to hunger stricken people and win their souls to salvation saying that it was for this reason that the Church was always critical about the provision of basic needs to its citizenry. Father Besa said unless people were fed and clothed, the word of God would be meaningless to them. He said it made him discontented to note that some government leaders had continued to divert funds at the expense of the vulnerable groups and when Priests talk about it they were always rebuked and asked to restrict themselves to the pulpit.

He advised those in power to welcome criticism, bad or good because he said it was the outsiders that see mistakes adding that defensive and intolerance would not take them anywhere.

He called on the leaders to listen to suggestions from both ordinary citizens and members of the Cleric on the good governance if the young democracy was to thrive. Father Besa who re-affirmed the Catholic position on the fight against all forms of discrimination, said there was no freedom of expression as evidenced by the numerous harassments journalists and media houses were going through in the country. He said it was unfair for the power that be, to gag the press by either intimidating them or introducing laws that would impinge on press freedom simply because they wanted to protect their interest.

Father Besa called on the republican President to stop chartering planes to tour the nation because it was draining government coffers.

He said it was a well known fact that there were no enough funds for the President to continue spending lavishly. He said while he appreciated that the President was entitled to flying, as a cost cut measure, he should be in forefront to use the road. Father Besa observed that travelling by road would not only save the much needed money, but also accord the President the chance to physically check on the state of the roads in the country.

“If our President starts visiting towns using motor vehicles, it will greatly assist the nation to save some funds and accord him chance to check on the conditions of our roads,” observed Father Besa.

He said the President had wrong information about the road infrastructure in the country because he was always flying and that his representatives never fed him with proper information for fear of being fired if they told him the truth.

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