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Zambian Oblate Bishop calls for Development in Western Zambia December 6th, 2011

Zambia’s Mongu Diocese Bishop Evan Chinyemba has called upon newly elected members of parliament (MP) from the area to respond to the challenges facing ordinary people. The Bishop outlined the development issues facing people, which include the need to build better schools, improve road infrastructure, rebuild health services and establish a safe water delivery system.

Bishop Chinyemba also addressed the issue of foreign investments. In these projects, local people have neither been consulted nor have they benefitted. He highlighted the need to review investments involved in cutting indigenous trees for export. Bishop Chinyemba also called for the urgent review of an investment agreement between the government Commission and private equity partners involved in managing the national park located near the Oblate parish of Kalabo.


A Visit to Mongu, Zambia November 29th, 2011

Early November, JPIC Office colleague Kate Walsh, who works with the TRI-State Coalition for Responsible Investment (CRI) in New Jersey, visited Oblates working in Zambia. She writes about her reflection on the trip and experience in Zambia:

Two weeks ago, I traveled to Zambia to speak at conference co-sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and CAFOD on Extractives in Southern African. My task was to speak about ICCR’s work and run a session on Shareholder Advocacy. However, I had a few days to explore the region, visit, before the conference began.

That first weekend, I went to Mongu in the Western Region. This is the poorest region of the country. After a 7-hour bus ride from the capital, I arrived and went to visit the Diocese of Mongu Development Centre (DMDC).

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Bishop Duffy, Outspoken Advocate for the Poor: Requiem in Pacem August 26th, 2011

Bishop Paul Francis Duffy, OMI – an outspoken Oblate missionary and Zambian bishop whose social justice work brought him threats from government officials – died Tuesday in San Antonio.

Father Billy Morell, OMI said Bp. Duffy was known throughout Zambia for fearlessly advocating for the rights and freedoms of people in the country’s poorest areas.

In his 27 years there, Bp. Duffy was credited with helping establish Oblate Radio Liseli, the Mongu Diocese Development Center, three schools, a teachers college, a hospital and several home-based care projects, including one for people with HIV/AIDS.

“He was a major political voice for the poor in Zambia,” said Father Jim Chambers in San Antonio. “He loved Zambia, and you could see that. He had a deep concern for the sufferings of the poor, and he let the government know.”

Bishop Duffy will be buried in Mongu, Zambia.

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U.S. Catholic Task Force on Africa offers Support to Bishop Duffy OMI October 10th, 2010

Poor state of Zambian roads hampers economic development

On October 8, a coalition of Catholic religious, Africa advocacy groups and humanitarian organizations based in Washington D.C issued a letter of support to Bishop Paul Duffy OMI in Zambia. The letter from the Catholic Task Force on Africa offers words of encouragement and expresses solidarity with Bishop Duffy. The Bishop has been receiving threats in recent months from ruling government party members for his having spoken out about the living conditions of people in his diocese.

View the letter (Download PDF)

Oblate Bishop in Zambia Threatened for Speaking on Behalf of Poor People September 17th, 2010

Missionary Oblate Bishop Paul Duffy of Mongu Diocese in Western Province of Zambia is being threatened by the ruling government over his support for and speaking on behalf of poor people. Bishop Duffy issued a statement in which he said the people of Western Province think it is time for change. His statement has elicited a strong response from the ruling party, with a section of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) threatening to beat him up. Bishop Duffy has questioned the governments’ motive in borrowing huge sums of money which does not visibly translate to development in the country and in particular the Western Province of Zambia.

On September 16, all priests and catholic groups in Mongu diocese released a statement of support of Bishop Duffy OMI in which they added that the people of Western Province are tired of being referred to as the poorest province in Zambia.

In a statement of support to Bishop Duffy, Zambian Oblates of Mary Immaculate delegation said the verbal attacks by government ministers on Bishop Duffy were unwarranted. Father Singini Nacidze OMI, information director for the Oblates released this statement which was signed by Fr. Freeborn Kibombwe the acting local superior: “OUTSPOKEN OBLATE BISHOP PAUL DUFFY, OMI THREATENED” (Download PDF)

The Oblates in Zambia have also issued a Press Release with information about Bishop Duffy who has served in Zambia for 26 years. The statement calls for civility, decency, humility and responsibility in all sectors of Zambian society regardless of political party. (Download PDF)

Zambia: Oblate Bishop Paul Duffy Attacked for Speaking on Behalf of the Poor January 21st, 2010

2africa5Oblate Bishop Paul Duffy of Mongu diocese, who has been doing missionary work for the last 25 years in Zambia’s Western Province, called on the Government of Zambia to help the poor by fulfilling a campaign promise to rebuild the main road and provide more economic opportunities for local people.

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