President Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) have failed Zambians for not bringing about the anticipated change promised during the election campaign, an Anglican priest Father Richard Luonde has said.
Fr Luonde claimed that President Sata and PF duped the citizens that things were going to be easier and better under their leadership but current events were pointing to the fact that nothing of the sort will take place.
In an interview on Wednesday Fr Luonde of Kitwe Parish said it was regrettable that the good governance and democracy under President Sata and the PF government were under severe threat.
Breaking his silence since the last general elections, the Anglican priest who was an ardent supporter of Mr Sata and the Patriotic Front said democracy and good governance under the PF had been vandalized.
Fr Luonde said democracy was being vandalized daily while some people in government were taking advantage of the situation to frighten the citizens so that they could be governed by fear and terror.
The priest observed that the deportation of the Rwandan Catholic priest Viateur Banyangandora was an indication that things were not well in Zambia under the PF government.
He said Fr Banyangandora was deported within 48 hours and government has arrogantly remained silent on the demands by the Catholic priests to disclose the reasons for his deportation.
Fr Luonde said Zambians must not stand by and watch government mutilate democracy under the guise that some priests were sowing seeds of despondency in their preaching.
He said the men of God had a duty to remind those in government about their obligation to serve the poor.
“Zambians did not get the change they wanted and voted for in the last general elections. So far, we have seen that governance in this country is a preserve of a few. And the deportation of the Lundazi priest is pointing to the fact that things are not well in the country. But as citizens, we must not stand by and watch the PF government vandalise democracy,” Fr Luonde said.
Fr Luonde said it was his prayer that those in government will soon realize the folly of abusing the mandate they were given by the people to govern last year.
He was hopeful that President Sata will realize that things were not going to people’s expectation and work towards changing the direction and style of running the affairs of the country.
‘President Sata is a Catholic and we are beginning to wonder whether he is doing what he has done because he belongs to the church. By deporting Fr Banyangandora, President Sata and his government have declared war on the Catholic Church. In fact, he should have been the first man to defend the priest and the church because he knows we have always been talking on behalf of the poor in our messages,” Fr Luonde explained.
He said the PF government will only be able to move and meet their campaign pledges if they exercised tolerance for those with different views.
He said Zambia as a Christian nation should have given Fr Banyangandora a chance to explain his message before deporting him.
“We are getting confused with the way Mr Sata is governing the country and that is why I am saying Zambians did not get the change they so passionately campaigned for,” he said.
Fr Luonde has also condemned the nepotism and tribalism that has become the main anchor of governance in the PF government.
He was a died-hard critic of former President Rupiah Banda and the MMD prior to the September elections and strongly campaigned for Mr Sata and the Patriotic Front together with Get Involved Zambia executive director Fr Frank Bwalya.