Civil Servants’ Three-day Strike in Angola Occasioned by “lack of listening, dialogue”: Catholic Bishop

Bishop Maurício Agostinho Camuto of Angola's Catholic Diocese of Caxito. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

The inability of authorities in Angola to realize how to listen to and dialogue with civil servants is behind the March 20-22 strike, Bishop Maurício Agostinho Camuto of the country’s Catholic Diocese of Caxito has said.

On March 20, civil servants in Angola began a three-day strike to press for higher wages and lower taxes to make ends meet amid the rise in the cost of living in the Southern African nation, Bloomberg News reported.

In his Palm Sunday homily at St. Anne Cathedral of Caxito Diocese, Bishop Camuto said authorities in Angola make “lots of nice speeches, but no practice, no work, and even less listening.”

“These days we've seen the workers' general strike and why did it happen? Because of the lack of listening and dialogue,” the Angolan Catholic Bishop said on March 24.

He added, “Dialogue means listening to the other, being able to listen, in order to be able to respond; but we don't listen and so the consequences are there.”


The Angolan member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CSSp/Spiritans/Holy Ghost Fathers) said, “We don't listen to each other. Jesus' silence is not that cowardly silence, a silence of fear, which leads us to remain silent in the face of injustice, or violence against the weak, against the destitute, as we are witnessing throughout these days in our land.”

Bishop Camuto went on to condemn the reported police brutality against the striking civil servants.

“We even see our brothers in the police using violence against our brothers who are striking. The police themselves also know and recognize that the conditions are not good, but they violently attack their brothers,” he lamented.

The Spiritan Bishop, who has been at the helm of Caxito Diocese since his Episcopal Consecration in August 2020 added referring to police brutality against peaceful demonstrators, “It's not right. The civil servants are demanding a right enshrined in the Constitution: decent working conditions and fair wages. Who doesn't want that?”

“Even the police officers themselves want that. We also have relatives; we have family members in the police and they complain; they also want to see their salaries improved; they also want to see their working conditions improved,” the catholic Church leader said.                  

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He continued, “If the others are complaining, they're going on strike, it's for everyone; it's for everyone's benefit; we should help them; we should support them and not use violence against them.”

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.