Friday, February 26, 2010

It’s criminal for Shikapwasha to sleep in Parliament - Bishop Duffy

It’s criminal for Shikapwasha to sleep in Parliament - Bishop Duffy
By Mwala Kalaluka
Fri 26 Feb. 2010, 08:50 CAT

MONGU Diocese Bishop Paul Duffy (left) yesterday described the MMD government's claims that Catholic bishops are supporting PF leader Michael Sata as nonsensical and illogical. And Bishop Duffy described Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha's sleeping incident in Parliament last Tuesday as criminal.

Bishop Duffy said in an interview from Mongu that people in President Rupiah Banda's government needed to take university lessons in logic because their statements were illogical.

“I hear they are taking on the Catholic church because they think we are supporting Michael Sata,” Bishop Duffy said. “That's nonsense. That's crazy. That's ridiculous. I do not know a single Bishop that is supporting Michael Sata. We speak out on what is going on in government. For example, the business of the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).”

Bishop Duffy said it was criminal for NCC delegates to continue getting K650, 000 per day as subsistence allowance, K500, 000 for sitting allowances and K100, 000 for transport allowance when there were poor people out there that could not access social welfare services.

“What's all this nonsense? We know poor people who are hungry, poor. They can't even send their children to school,” Bishop Duffy said.

Bishop Duffy said the amount of money that the NCC delegates got was more than some people's monthly salaries.

“That is more than what people earn per month. They (NCC delegates) get more per day, ah! What a waste,” Bishop Duffy exclaimed. “Yes, they can extend it to the year 3,000 as long as they get that kind of money. I think that is criminal. I really think that is criminal, that is ridiculous for a poor country.”

Bishop Duffy said most people in Mongu Diocese were unable to understand why the government wants to extend the NCC sittings.

“It's absolute insanity,” Bishop Duffy said.

He said by speaking on these issues, the Catholic bishops were not involving themselves in active politics.

“Politics is a part of human life and it can't be separated from the daily life of the people,” he said. “Why is it that the Minister of Information (Lt. Gen Shikapwasha) who is a reverend can be involved in politics?

Why is it that Nevers Mumba who was heading a church was co-opted in as a nominated member of parliament and became a Vice-President? No one said it was active politics! Why is it that only Catholic bishops are said to be involved in active politics when they speak?”

Bishop Duffy said it was because of this that he was urging the government leaders to take lessons in logic.

“They need to take lessons in logic because they are being illogical in their statements. They need to go to university and take a semester in logic,” Bishop Duffy said.

And Bishop Duffy said it was criminal for Lt Gen Shikapwasha to sleep in Parliament when serious matters affecting the people were being discussed.

“It just shows the quality of commitment these people have as far as serving the people of this country,” Bishop Duffy said. “I think, again, that is criminal.”

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