You can’t gag Archbishop Mpundu, Mundubile tells UPND
By NATION REPORTER
THE UPND administration should accord Emeritus Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu the same respect and backing they gave him when he spoke for the people at the time the governing party was in opposition, Brian Mundubile has said.
Mr Mundubile, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament says the UPND administration should allow Archbishop Mpundu to continue speaking out freely on national issues and should never attempt to gag him.
Mr Mundubile says Archbishop Mpundu had always stood with the people, particularly the under-privileged and it would be an act of oppressiveness for President Hakainde Hichilema’s administration to begin to gag the prelate on matters affecting the country.
Getrude Imenda, the governing party deputy chief executive has taken exception to the advice by Archbishop Mpundu to address the high cost of living or risk a revolt from Zambians.
Mr. Mundubile who is a PF presidential candidate said democracy was measured by how much dissenting voices were accommodated within the political space.
“In our democracy, voices from the church, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and many other stakeholders should be allowed to offer their views on how the best the country ought to be managed. Archbishop Mpundu was a darling of the UPND in opposition and now that they are in government, they should accord him the same respect as when he spoke against the ills of the Patriotic Front (PF),” Mr Mundubile said.
Mr. Mundubile said senior statesmen such as Archbishop Mpundu had been speaking from time immemorial against injustice, societal morals and governance issues in general.
“When UPND was in opposition they embraced Archbishop Mpundu because he spoke for the masses on societal ills. They (UPND) should not gag him now because he has not changed his position of siding with the weak in society,” he said.
Mr. Mundubile said it was strange that the UPND would want to gag Archbishop Mpundu by stopping him from speaking when he was loved by UPND while in opposition.
“That is undemocratic. Let UPND appreciate the role that Archbishop Mpundu has played in our democracy and give him space to continue speaking for the masses,” Mr Mundubile said.
Mr Mundubile said Archbishop Mpundu was among the rare clerics who had always spoken for citizens and that what the UPND government should realise was that the prelate would never be gaged by any government, not even an autocratic or oppressive regime.