Fr. Augustine Mwewa Urges UPND Government to Embrace Divergent Views


Copperbelt-based Catholic Priest Fr. Augustine Mwewa has told the UPND Government not to perceive those with different views as enemies.

Government and UPND party officials have reacted angrily to criticism by Lusaka Archbishop Dr Alick Banda and his Priest Fr Anthony Salangeta of Chawama Catholic Church.

Archbishop Banda recently condemned the scenario which saw scores of police officers pursuing former First Lady Esther Lungu using armoury vehicles saying the incident raised questions on where society or a country was heading to.

Fr. Salangeta then criticised President Hichilema for using a graph to show growth trends in real Gross Domestic Product from 1973 to 2023 saying people are more interested in issues directly affecting them such as the availability of mealie meal.

The comments from the two clergy were condemned by President Hichilema, Agriculture Minister Reuben Phiri, Local Government Minister Garry Nkombo and his Green Economy colleague Collins Nzovu with UPND Secretary General Batuke Imenda branding Archbishop Banda as Lucifer.

But Fr. Mwewa of Lulamba Catholic Church in Chingola said the New Dawn Government of President Hakainde Hichilema should embrace divergent views.

Speaking when he featured on Radio Icengelo Show – Face to Face with the community via phone, Fr. Mwewa further said should people show commitment to participating in national matters.

Meanwhile, former Catholic Priest Mwewa Senkwe said Fr. Salangeta’s comment on graphs was done in good faith.

He said Fr. Salangeta wants the Government to address the people at the periphery of society.

Mwewa added that threats by Mr Nkombo suggesting that he will face Fr. Salangeta in the political battlefield is not necessary.

“The whole Friar Salangeta saga reminded me of an incident some years ago.A Catholic Priest was passionately delivering a Sunday homily. He started by explaining the scriptural background to the three passages read on that Sunday. He tried to do it in the simplest way possible.One young man whispered to his friend, “ifi ba Fr. balelanda nifilya babafunda ku Seminary. Apa so homily tailatampa” (what father is talking about now is what they are taught in the seminary. He is yet to start his homily).After laying the background so well, the Priest began the application and meaning of the word for today and in our life. He stated, “mwamona mweba Kristiani banandi…” Upon hearing this, the young man whispered again to his friend, “waumfwa! apa homily elo yatampa…” (have you heard! Now he has started the homily),” he said.

“The biggest challenge of a priest is to transmit the word of God using the language that is relevant to his audience. A priest will skillfully adapt the message according to the audience. If a priest celebrates his first Mass in Kanyama and his second Mass in Woodlands, the message in his homily will be the same but highly adapted because social conditions in the two places are totally different.Dear Hon Nkombo, Friar Salangeta does need to face you on the political battlefield because it is not necessary. He wants you to address the people at the periphery of our society. He wants you to adapt the graphs to their social condition. Their immediate need is food and poverty elimination. He is simply asking you to state to them how positive growth will help improve their family’s welfare.This is certainly not a big ask and you are equal to the task,” he said.


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