Country Report Zambia April 2010

The political scene: The MMD questions the Church's support for Mr Sata

In a similar vein, the MMD has attempted to negate the electoral implications of the influential Roman Catholic Church's support for Mr Sata by questioning the basis of this support. In particular, it has accused the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Zambia, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, of supporting Mr Sata because the latter fathered two children with the archbishop's sister out of wedlock. The archbishop has denied these accusations, stating that he does not support Mr Sata's relationship with his sister, and that his political opinions are informed purely by the ruling party's failure to fight corruption and deliver services to the Zambian people. The Roman Catholic Church has been a vocal critic of the government in recent years, and the MMD's attempt to tarnish the Church appears to reflect its concern about the Church's influence on public opinion-26.3% of Zambians are Catholic, so the Church's unfavourable views on the government could have significant implications for the MMD.

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