By Abigail Chaponda in London, United Kingdom
Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster and Bishop in charge of Ethnic Chaplaincies Bishop Paul Mcaleenan has urged Zambians not to take the peace Zambia has so far enjoyed for granted but should guard it jealously.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde has called on Zambians in the Diaspora to serve as their country’s ambassadors by speaking good about Zambia.
During the homily to celebrate Zambia’s 54thIndependence Anniversary and Commissioning of the Catholic Women’s League in the Diaspora at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul under the Westminster Dioceses Bishop Paul Mcaleenan urged all Zambians both home and away to cherish and holdfast to the peace that the country has been enjoying for the past 54 years.
“There is peace in your own country and you must be supporting each other. As you celebrate your independence, remember where you are coming from by being one another’s keeper. You should appreciate God for the love and peace you have in your country,” he said.
And officiating at the same event, High Commissioner Chikonde said it was incumbent upon Zambians in the diaspora to promote Zambia in their country of residence irrespective of their political and religious beliefs.
“To all you my fellow Zambians, I say we all have a duty and responsibility to be patriotic, to protect and defend the unity and peace that we treasure so much. You should be ready to participate in the development of your country. His Excellecy President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has consistently reminded us that he wants to see a developed Zambia that does not leave anyone behind as such, it is therefore, necessary that all Zambians, irrespective of political or religious affiliation and working together with others, must ensure that we accomplish our development targets set-out in the vision 2030 to ultimately become a middle-income country. Wherever you are, bear in mind that you play a significant role and the country needs your input to develop” he said.
The High Commissioner highlighted the country’s achievements and invited Zambians to take advantage of the many investment opportunities to invest in the country.
And during the commenting of the Zambia Catholic Chaplaincy UK Parish Priest Fr. Henry Mobela, who is the current Zambian Parish Chaplain said there was strength in unity and urged Zambians in the UK to live as one big family.
Fr. Mobela said he was happy to commission the Catholic women’s league in the UK and pressed them to live by their motto: Charity, Work and Loyalty.
“Mothers help to shape our lives to become contributing members of the society and as you become The Catholic Women’s leagues, we expect that you will live by your motto of Charity, Work and Loyalty. Unite us as Zambians in the diaspora. Always pray for us. A woman who can talk to God and hear from Him is a force of strength,” he said.
In his adress, High Commissioner Chikonde congratulated the Zambia Catholic chaplaincy UK for commissioning the first ever Catholic Women’s League in the diaspora.
“The commissioning of the Women’s League, on the occasion of celebrating Zambia’s independence, resonates with the independence theme: ‘Celebrating a shared future of unity, development and prosperity’, and exemplifies the work of our freedom fighters that dedicated their lives to the service of others. I see the Women’s League as a great partner of the Zambia High Commission as both of us deal with the welfare of our people,” he said.
The High Commissioner thanked Fr. Mobela for creating a conducive spiritual environment that allows Zambians to express themselves in their vernacular languages both in praise and worship and he wished him well as he leads the Zambian Catholic Chaplaincy UK.
And officiating earlier at the Zambia Overseas Christian Fellowship (ZOCF) Independece Celebrations, High Commissioner Chikonde encouraged Zambians living abroad to continue teaching their children Zambian values and culture as a way of maintaining their connection with their roots back home. He further encouraged the families to visit their home country regulary so that they remain alligned with the reality on the ground rather than depend on social media, much of which has generally tended to be sensational and inacurate, as the source of information.
High Commissioner Chikonde also thanked his Diplomatic and local team at the Mission for their hard work and urged them to continue being innovative and of relevance to the Zambian diaspora community and the Nation.