The tripartite elections, were eagerly awaited by everyone, politicians and the citizens alike. This were important elections since the Country was going to hold presidential, parliamentary, and local Government elections at the same time, hence the term – tripartite!
After ten years in power, and presiding over a social situation that the Bishops had in the same year described as a "crisis", the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Government faced stiff competition from a motley of political parties.
As the time of the elections draw near, the Bishops called upon all Christians to show their true colours as true and good followers of Jesus Christ as well as good law-abiding citizens. This was the time for Christians to look for leaders who are Godfearing, upright, and who have love for the people. This was a time when Christians were challenged to get involved by turning out in huge numbers to participate in the elections.
"Yes, I know what plans I have in mind for you. Yahweh declares, plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future full of hope." [Jeremiah 29:11]
To all Catholic Christians and all peace loving Zambians! May the peace and justice of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!
"The foundation of good Government must be established on the sound basis of laws which protect the rights and define the obligations of citizens… That is why the (African) Synod rightly considered that an authentic democracy, which respects pluralism, ‘is one of the principal routes along which the Church travels together with the people…The lay Christian, engaged in the democratic struggle according to the spirit of the Gospel, is the sign of a Church which participates in the promotion of the rule of law everywhere in Africa’" [The Church in Africa, #112]
"In the pluralistic societies of our day, it is especially due to the commitment of Catholics in public life that the Church can exercise a positive influence. Whether they be professionals or teachers, businessmen or civil servants, law enforcement agents or politicians, Catholics are expected to bear witness to goodness, truth, justice and love of God in their daily life. "The task of the faithful lay person… is to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, especially in those places where only a lay person is able to render the Church present” [John-Paul II, The Church in Africa, #108]
Those who have already been in office must be evaluated on their record in office.
"The Synod prayed fervently to the Lord that there would arise in Africa holy politicians – both men and women – and there would be saintly Heads of State, who profoundly love their own people and wish to serve rather than be served" [Church in Africa, #111]