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Constitution supports Religion Ministry – MwambaBy Mukosha Funga on 17 May 2017
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba says the Ministry of National Guidance was necessitated by the Constitution which provides for the upholding of public, moral, social, cultural and ethical values.
Dismissing counter arguments from Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo, FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza and Economic and Equity Party president Chiluya Tayali this morning, High Commissioner Mwamba said the Constitution was clear on this and it was for this reason that President Edgar Lungu, in his State of the nation address, spoke about the moral fibre of the nation.
“National Guidance and Religious Affairs [Ministry] was necessitated by the Constitution. Remember the new Constitution provides that public, moral, social and cultural and ethical values be upheld. The Constitution is so specific about this matter that the President has been directed to address the State of the Nation Address (SONA) specifically to address the moral standing and fibre of our nation,” High Commissioner Mwamba said.
“Remember the Ministry is new and is still crafting guidelines but I know they will be derived from the Constitution.”
He said Minister of National Guidance was in order to deport fake prophets whom she perceived as inimical to the peace and stability of Zambia.
“Government has a duty of in its discretion [if it] finds that a foreigner’s presence is inimical to Zambia or its community. So the decision by the Minister of Home Affairs as advised by the concerns of the Minister of National Guidance is within the sanctity of the law. Is [Prophet Shepard] Bushiri’s right or freedom to religion infringed upon? That doesn’t arise as his church and his followers remain practicing their faith in Zambia. It’s been done within the sanctity of the law,” Mwamba said.
“In her discretion as Minister, Bushiri’s presence is inimical to the peace and stability of Zambia or its communities or if his conduct or practice disturbs the fabric of our society he can be denied entry. Witch doctors have their own space and allowed to practice without hindrance. Zambia uphold freedom of religion.”
And High Commissioner Mwamba also noted that South Africa had also been denying entry to the Dalai Lama.
“In South Africa, a country that celebrates religious and constitutional freedom, authorities have consistently refused entry to a respected man of God, commanding world-wide reverence-the Dalai Lama because his presence divides the two Bhudist faith (Chinese Buddism and Tibetan Buddhist),” said Mwamba.
About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha Funga is a Zambian journalist interested in good governance and anti corruption reporting.
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