PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has said the Government is alive to the challenges affecting citizens and is working hard to resolve them.
Mr Hichilema has since called for honesty and sincerity in the manner that political parties collaborate to address national issues, saying diversity and competition should not create division.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he graced the enthronement service of Albert Chama as Lusaka Anglican diocese bishop and the Cathedral’s diamond jubilee of existence since construction in 1962.
The President has also thanked the role of the Anglican Church in national peace building, especially through the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross which has been in existence in Lusaka for 60 years.
“As we have been taught in our message here today, let he with eyes learn to see and he with ears learn to hear and let me say that as your Government, we are seeing and hearing the challenges that the people of Zambia are going through and just like we are resolving the debt, we will resolve the mealie meal price issues and many other challenges such as lack of clean water and sanitation,” Mr Hichilema said.
He said the Government and the Church were social partners in dealing with the country’s socio economic challenges as the two institutions served the same constituency of citizens.
“Church leaders come from one end and so do us the politicians but there is a convergence point somewhere and this Government is committed to even working with other political parties but there must be honesty and civility in the way that we do things because diversity and competition in politics should not divide us,” the President said.
He said the Government had taken an orderly approach towards resolving national issues, hence embracing counsel from stakeholders such as the Church.
“During our time in opposition, we received a lot of counsel from the Church, including in this building and I want to state here publicly Bishop Chama that please feel free to engage us at any time,” Mr Hichilema said.
President Hichilema said the Anglican Cathedral had been an instrumental location for nation building activities in the past and present day.
“May it continue to be so going forward and we want to thank the Dean, Fr Charlie Thomas for always opening these doors to hold the nation together and may you archbishop Chama do the same,” he said.
In a homily, Eastern diocese bishop William Mchombo encouraged arwchbishop Chama to embrace the mantle of leadership brought forth by his role and serve the Church and the people diligently.
Bishop Mchombo urged archbishop Chama to carry on the reconciliation mandate of the Anglican Church in helping the country promote unity, love and reconciliation amongst all political stakeholders.
Archbishop Chama takes over from Bishop David Njovu who died last year aged 60.
The new presiding office bearer pledged to uphold prudent leadership to the flock and pronounced blessings upon the nation and President Hichilema as he took up his role.