By HELLEN TEMBO
THE church mother bodies have called on all political leaders to coexist and desist from using hate speech, to help foster peace in the country.
The three church mother bodies are the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) and the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ).
EFZ chairperson Paul Mususu said at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that all political leaders should declare and enforce zero-tolerance to political violence and discourage the vice by handing all erring members to law-enforcement institutions.
Bishop Mususu said political leaders should give the planned national dialogue their full commitment without preconditions with a view to levelling the playing field.
“We appeal to our political leaders to stop insulting each other or anyone who does not agree with their political opinion and start genuinely to respect fellow political players as legitimate opponents to hold their political opinion to propagate it among the public,” Bishop Mususu said.
He said political parties should restrain themselves and their members from making inflammatory statements.
Bishop Mususu also called upon the media to refrain from sensationalism.
ZCCB president Telesphore Mpundu said national dialogue and reconciliation were critical so that politicians and other stakeholders could do checks and balances to assist the current administration to grow the economy.
Archbishop Mpundu said dialogue was essential for holistic national development as there could not be any meaningful development without it.
He said the clergy were ready to support and contribute to the restoration of peace in the country through dialogue.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Mpundu said the clergy were saddened by the outbreak of cholera in Lusaka and other parts of the country.
Archbishop Mpundu said it was sad that more than 50 people had died from the epidemic and he sympathised with the families that lost their loved ones.
He said the church pledged to collaborate with the Government in addressing the epidemic and supported the efforts other stakeholders were putting in, in the fight against cholera.
Archbishop Mpundu called on the Government to look for measures that would last in efforts to end cholera for good.