“Administrative Willingness to Engage in Dialogue with Catholic Episcopacy – Mweetwa”

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Minister of Information and Media, Cornelius Mweetwa, asserts the government’s readiness to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Catholic bishops regarding the concerns articulated in a circulating pastoral letter on various social media platforms.

Mweetwa emphasizes the government’s esteem for all churches locally and internationally, underscoring the preference for dialogue over issuing statements through media outlets. The government affirms its commitment to maintaining an open-door policy while actively engaging in discussions with diverse stakeholders, including the Catholic bishops who have expressed concerns about the country’s economic status.

According to ZANIS reports, Mweetwa acknowledges the media’s efficacy as a communication platform but cautions against its potential to foster misunderstanding if not wielded judiciously. The Minister shares these sentiments during a press briefing held at his office in Lusaka today.

Mweetwa acknowledges the gravity of the issues raised by the Catholic bishops, urging them to consider more effective channels for communicating their concerns to the government. He emphasizes that dialogue is the optimal means of engagement, fostering accountability and transparency among all involved parties.

While expressing appreciation for the bishops’ concerns, Mweetwa suggests that they could have also proffered constructive solutions to assist the government in effective governance. He notes that the bishops’ statement primarily focused on the state of the economy without offering potential remedies.

“We respect and acknowledge their concerns. But we are wondering why they chose to use the media instead of coming to us and dialogue. As a government, we are ready to meet them so that we talk face to face and not through the media,” states Mweetwa.

The Minister highlights President Hakainde Hichilema’s commitment to sober dialogue for achieving a win-win situation conducive to economic development. He underscores the president’s unwavering support for the rule of law and his determination to uphold its supremacy.

On November 10, 2023, Catholic bishops issued a statement to the government during a press briefing, addressing the alleged economic state of the country, a message that gained circulation on various social media platforms.

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