AFRICA/ZAMBIA – Strengthening democracy in Zambia: the Church urges the population to be an integral part of the electoral process

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Lusaka – “As a Catholic Church, we count on the laity to be our light in the democratic process and we urge all of our lay members to be an integral part of this process”. This was stated by Fr. Cornelius Chibamba, National Pastoral Coordinator of the Zambia Council of Lay Catholics , in a speech read on his behalf by Fr. Leonard Namakhumba at the Kapingila ZCCB House in Lusaka. In his speech during the launch of the “Strengthening Democracy in Zambia” project, Fr. Chibamba, reiterated the significant role of the laity in the Church and in society. On the eve of the next general elections on August 12, in which the people will elect the Head of State and the members of the National Assembly, Father Chibamba, who is also acting secretary general of the ZCCB, further stressed the need for voter registration and civic education and urged the laity to support the government in such efforts.
“Many do not know the entire democratic process and do not know what to do as the country prepares for the general elections. It is their responsibility as members of the lay council to dedicate their time, energy and resources to guarantee that these disadvantaged people can exercise their democratic rights”, reads the note sent to Fides. The Pastoral Coordinator concluded by emphasizing that “the role of the Church is to educate people about the entire democratic process so that they make coherent decisions based on what they have learned from the whole process and on their opinion on the programs offered by the candidates”. The third wave of Covid is raging in the country with a positivity rate of 27%, hospitals and intensive care are saturated. Few vaccines have arrived from India, which have been used to double-dose just more than 3,000 people a day out of 13 million inhabitants. To date, July 30, 2021, the situation of those infected by Covid-19 reports 194,140 cases, 335 deaths, 185,210 cured.