ZAMBIA: Bishop Phiri Bans Politicians from Campaigning in Churches

By Njoki Githinji

NDOLA, JUNE 4, 2021(CISA)-Rt. Rev. Benjamin Phiri bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ndola has issued a decree that all politicians who visit churches during the campaign period should neither be given preferential treatment nor a chance to address faithful during Mass, or within church premises.

“As political campaigns heighten, we surely expect an increase of visits of those seeking election to various political offices to our churches… I therefore direct that when such visits occur, those seeking political offices should be treated as any other ordinary Christian coming to worship. At no time should they be accorded a chance to speak to the gathered faithful during Mass at the pulpit nor should they be given audience outside Mass to speak to the parishioners within the parish premises,” he said in a June 3 Memo.

Bishop Phiri warned that he is aware that some priests have in the past given politicians a chance to campaign in church in the guise of greeting the Christians.

The bishop further advised against wearing of political dressing at church premises.

“Furthermore, I wish to admonish that no political regalia should be worn by anyone at our church premises regardless of their political affiliation. When at church we all belong to the party of Jesus Christ and nothing more,” the bishop noted.

Zambia is set to hold General Elections on August 12.