Priest urges Zambian Official to Resign

A Zambian priest said the nation's information minister should resign for accusing the Catholic Church of complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and comparing it to the current situation in Zambia. Father Augustine Mwewa, the Ndola Diocese's treasurer general, said Aug. 10 that the minister, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Shikapwasha, was wrong to tell the Zambian Parliament that events leading to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda should serve as an example for Zambia. "He has shown us how shallow he (is)," Father Mwewa said. "He does not deserve to be where he is." Shikapwasha made his remarks during an Aug. 7 report to Parliament on recent acts of violence against journalists. The violence allegedly was perpetrated by supporters of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy. The minister accused the church of promoting violence by siding with the media and opposition parties in criticizing the government. The minister's comments came after the Zambian bishops' conference challenged the government of President Rupiah Banda to stop persecuting and harassing journalists and media that disagree with it.

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