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Fr Chilinda asks Sata to forgive Rupiah
05 October 2011 Wednesday 01:59 AM Views: 2348 times
President Sata raises his hand during St. Ignatius assistant parish preist Fr Charles Chilindi's sermon in Lusaka on Sunday 02.10.2011 Post

President Michael Sata yesterday disagreed with St. Ignatius assistant parish priest, Fr Charles Chilinda when the later asked him to forgive his predecessor Rupiah Banda for the wrongs he may have committed during his reign.

Responding to Fr Chilinda's plea, President Sata said what the priest was saying meant that the government should not fight corruption. In his sermon, whose theme was about reconciliation, Fr Chilinda said he was puzzled that whenever someone won a presidential election, they prosecuted their predecessor.

He said it was good that President Sata was Catholic, and that as a Catholic he should listen and be remembered as a good leader.

“And I hope that President Sata is listening, and I ask President Sata to set a precedent by forgiving his predecessor despite the differences they had,” Fr Chilinda said.

Kaunda baliisa munyankula, Chiluba nao aisa nyankula Kaunda, Mwanawasa nao aisa nyankula Chiluba. (Kaunda was defeated in an election, then Chiluba persecuted Kaunda, Mwanawasa also persecuted Chiluba); the only person who was not persecuted was Mwanawasa who was ‘saved’ by death.”

Fr Chilinda said the trend had been that now that elections were over, it was not time to fix opponents.

“And in elections, there is a winner and a loser, it doesn't mean that the winner should fix the loser,” he said.

At that point, President Sata raised his hand, but Fr Chilinda continued with the sermon and asked the congregation if it was okay for President Sata to prosecute Banda, to which the congregation responded in the negative.

Then Fr Chilinda walked towards President Sata who then said to the congregation that: “What Fr Chilinda is saying is that we should not fight corruption. Nomba nga baliba ninshi kubelela? (If people stole, should they be forgiven? Ine nalilandile ati (I had said that) the governing of this country will be based on the Ten Commandments,” President Sata said, amidst ululations and applauds from the congregants.

But Fr Chilinda contradicted himself when he later said the fight against corruption should be everyone’s commitment.

“We shouldn’t be corrupt if we want to eradicate corruption. Ine nga banjikata ba kapokola pa musebo elyo mfwile ukulipila K270,000 nomba naya kuli ba kapokola nokubeba ati ine nkwete K20,000, filya ninshi corruption ya ambila pali ine. So tufwile twacinja ifintu. (If police charge me over a traffic offence and I am supposed to pay K270,000 but I tell them that I just have K20,000 it means corruption has started with me. So, we should change things,)” said Fr Chilinda.

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