Caritas Zambia says it is shocked by recent accusations purporting that it is in an alliance with the Patriotic Front (PF) and is planning to remove the MMD government from power in this year’s elections.
Caritas acting Director Milimo Mwiba the accusations are false and misleading.
She said that statements are only meant to discredit and embarrass not only Caritas Zambia but the entire Catholic Church.
“Therefore, these accusations should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve by all peace loving Zambians. This is because Caritas Zambia is a credible organization which is non partisan and we have proved this over the many years we have been in existence.
‘Our vision as an organization is to see a Zambian society where every person, regardless of their political affiliation, is free to fully attain integral human development and live in harmony. Caritas Zambia draws its inspiration from the gospel and catholic social teachings, which motivate us to be dedicated to the promotion and protection of human dignity and sustainable development for the people of God especially the less privileged. Therefore, how can we then undermine our own vision and mission?
‘We want to set the record straight on the accusation that Caritas Zambia has formed an Alliance with the PF and intends to field Managers and Coordinators as parliamentary candidates on the PF ticket. This is totally untrue as Caritas Zambia cannot form alliances with political parties. We believe in a multi party democratic system where various political parties compete fairly to assume political leadership.
Therefore, deliberately choosing to support one political party defeats this very principle. For example, the efforts we make in providing space for all political parties to sell themselves to the public through ‘meet your candidates’ forums go a long way in proving our non partisanship nature. Secondly, the Catholic Church is composed of members who belong to different political parties. It would therefore be unfair for Caritas Zambia to be aligned to one political party. Thirdly, our prophetic role as Caritas Zambia is to speak for the voiceless and the marginalized in society. For this reason, when we offer positive criticism which is at times shared by the opposition parties, we should not be seen as partisan.
Mwiba further said allegation that Caritas Zambia is abusing donor funds to campaign for PF in order to make political gains is another lie that is meant to discredit and tarnish our image in the eyes of the donors.
She said there is no way an organization like Caritas can encourage youths to drink and engage in political violence when it was established to promote justice and peace in Zambia.
‘We would therefore like to alert our Cooperating Partners that they should not be hoodwinked by these false accusations, as Caritas Zambia is a transparent organization.
‘It is laughable to read accusations that Caritas Zambia’s leadership has been promised positions when PF comes to power. Caritas Zambia in its ranks and file leadership is not interested in political positions but the welfare of the poor and marginalized. The Church and its organizations always put a separation between the state and itself.
‘That is why it supplements state efforts such as in development, governance, education, health and agriculture. It does not seek to replace the state because its task is not to run the country but to promote and defend human dignity.
In conclusion, we would like to state that every individual has a right to participate in politics. However for Caritas Zambia, the policy is very clear. Whoever, chooses to take a partisan role and begins to campaign for a political party is required to immediately resign so that they can concentrate on partisan politics. This is our position and shall remain so.’