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Catholic Bishop in Zambia Calls for Examination of Conscience Ahead of General Elections

Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba of the Catholic Diocese of Mongu in Zambia. Credit: Courtesy of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB)

A Catholic Bishop in Zambia is urging his compatriots to probe their moral senses of right and wrong ahead of the country’s general elections scheduled for next week, Thursday, August 12.

In a Wednesday, August 4 video message, Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba of Zambia’s Mongu Diocese compares the different political convictions held by the Zambian people to the artistic undersea rainbow, which takes different forms depending on the viewer’s standing position and says that conscience will help each voter make the right choices in the polls.

“To stand before the undersea rainbow of Zambian politics and elections, calls us to examine our conscience,” Bishop Chinyemba says, and adds, “Before you cast your ballot, ask yourself: how is my neighbor doing economically and socially?”

“Conscience speaks to you; conscience directs your steps; conscience guides you; conscience challenges you in these few days remaining before we go to the polls,” the member of Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) further says in his video message.

The Zambian Bishop who has been at the helm of Mongu Diocese since May 2011 also calls on the electorate in the Southern African nation to vote saying it is a civic duty. 

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“Make your vote reflect your informed choices. You can no longer stand there and continue criticizing the government. You have a right to vote and change what you feel is not right,” the Zambian Bishop who will turn 54 next week, August 9, says.

He also expresses the hope that the votes cast by the registered voters will speak for those who will not go to the ballot saying, “May your vote speak for the many young people and others who are unable to vote because of age and other circumstances beyond their control.”

Bishop Chinyemba adds, “Let the 12th August 2021 elections reflect a mature electorate who cast their vote with responsibility for the wellbeing and future of the nation.”

He goes on to challenge aspiring political leaders to reflect on the electorate’s day to day challenges and identify ways to solve them.

“My dear politicians, having gone round the country, having gone round the constituencies and addressed various political meetings and gatherings you now know what shape the country and your constituency is in,” the Local Ordinary of Mongu says.

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In the rallies across constituencies, the Catholic Bishop continues, addressing himself to those vying for various positions, “you were privileged to address many people. Have you encountered people who are hungry, illiterate and impoverished? Did you see the marks of pain and suffering and anxiety written on their faces? As aspiring leaders, what vision and hope can you give to such people?”

“Let not each of you look at his own interests but also at the interests of the others,” Bishop Chinyemba further says, making reference to the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, and adds, “The masses of people who came to the meetings are the others.”