Pope Francis has expressed hope that all Zambians will continue to pursue the common good for a more peaceful and just society. In a message of congratulations to President Edgar Lungu on the occasion of Zambia’s 52nd independence anniversary, Pope Francis, the leader of the world-wide Catholic community, commended Zambia to the providence of the Almighty God and prayed that all Zambians may enjoy peace and prosperity. “I extend cordial greetings to Your Excellency and your fellow citizens on the happy occasion of Zambia’s national day. In praying that all in the nation will continue to pursue the common good for a peaceful and just society, l willingly invoke upon you the blessings of the Almighty God,” the Pope said in a letter to the President. In another Independence Day anniversary message to President Lungu, South African President Jacob Zuma extended fraternal greetings and hearty congratulations to the Zambian people. President Zuma reaffirmed South Africa’s desire to strengthen the excellent bonds of friendship that exist between Zambia and that country. This was according to a statement issued by special assistant to the President Amos Chanda.