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Religion Minister can’t choose who Zambians worship – PePBy Mukosha Funga on 17 May 2017
Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo says Minister of National Guidance Reverend Godfridah Sumaili has no right to decide who Zambians must worship.
And Tembo asks; “so after restricting what or who the people can worship, what will be next by this Ministry of National Guidance? Are they going to start visiting people’s bedrooms and regulating what styles and positions of sexual intercourse between couples are Christian and therefore allowed in the country?”
In a statement today, the opposition leader said Rev Sumaili was misguided to base administrative decisions on her interpretation of scripture.
“I have decided to join the fray and offer my opinion on the issue of the Honourable Minister of National Guidance threatening to ban a named prophet from visiting Zambia on the basis that he is a fake prophet. Firstly, Zambia is a constitutional democracy and not a theocracy. The Honourable Minister is misguided to base administrative decisions on her interpretation of scripture. As a matter of fact, her ministry should never have existed in the first place. It is going to be a great source of conflict for this nation. The President must consider disbanding this so called Ministry of National Guidance immediately. What national guidance? As a nation, we draw our guidance from the Constitution and not from some self-styled artificial god as the Minister of National Guidance wants to portray herself to be,” Tembo stated.
“In what capacity is the Minister able to determine who is a false prophet and who is not? In case the Honourable Minister may not be aware, our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. That means Zambians are free to worship whoever and whatever they feel like worshiping. If Zambians want to worship a fake prophet, that is their constitutional right. If Zambians want to worship a stone or a tree or a pig or a goat, again that is their constitutional right. The Minister has no standing in law to dictate what or who Zambians worship.”
And Tembo wondered what the ministry would do after successfully restricting what or who people worshiped.
“So after restricting what or who the people can worship, what will be next by this Ministry of National Guidance? Are they going to start visiting people’s bedrooms and regulating what styles and positions of sexual intercourse between couples are Christian and therefore allowed in the country? To what extent does this so called Ministry of National Guidance intend to interfere into our private lives and violate our personal beliefs? I repeat once more, we should not even be having this debate in the first place. This is simply an issue of common sense. We need to spend our energy debating issues that will enhance the economic welfare of Zambians not this nonsense,” Tembo said.
Tembo insisted that Zambians had the right to choose whom to worship; whether “fake or original”.
“The creation of this so called Ministry of National Guidance typifies the extent of gross incompetence on the part of the PF government as their understanding of very basic issues is very questionable. We shouldn’t even be having this debate about people’s right to worship whoever and whatever they want to worship. Remember that we are talking about adults with full legal capacity here. If we were talking about children who are unable to make decisions for themselves, we would say the government may be right to step in and protect their interests. But these are adult Zambians that want their prophet to visit, fake or original, that is not the interest of government,” stated Tembo.
About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha Funga is a Zambian journalist interested in good governance and anti corruption reporting.
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