Zambia: Catholic bishops facilitate talks between Lungu and his rival Hichilema

2017-07-27 13:35
President Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

President Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

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Lusaka – Zambian Catholic Church bishops are reportedly facilitating peace talks between President Edgar Lungu and his arch rival opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.

According to Lusaka Times, the Catholic Church bishops met with Lungu on Wednesday, following a meeting with Hichilema last week.

The men of the cloth, however, said it was "too soon to tell if the process will bear desired fruits".

Speaking to journalists shortly after their meeting with Lungu, Catholic Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu and Alick Banda told journalists in Lusaka that they had heard both Lungu and Hichilema’s sides and that the nation would be updated on the progress.

"There is no conclusion, we are just beginning. The process has its own ups and downs but hopefully the ups and downs are going up so we will see after some time whether we have made progress or not. We cannot pre-empt now when we have just started. You are being too impatient. We have just put seeds in the soil and you are waiting for it to be harvested," Archbishop Mpundu was quoted as saying.

This came as reports indicated that Zambia was sliding into a dictatorship after the opposition leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Hichilema, was recently arrested and charged with treason.

Authorities alleged that the wealth businessman blocked Lungu's motorcade with his own convoy of vehicles during a traditional ceremony in the country's western province in April.

They said that Hichilema's motorcade did not yield after presidential security guards signalled for it to get out of the way.

Hichilema was moved to a maximum security prison in June and it was unclear when he would be back in court.

Read more on:    hakainde hichilema  |  edgar lungu  |  zambia  |  southern africa

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