UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango says the move by the Zambia police to stop thanksgiving prayers in a Christian Nation is an evil act which is beyond imagination.

In a statement, Nalumango said the UPND had accepted an invitation for interdenominational prayers following the peaceful release of Hakainde Hichilema from prison, but observed that the PF government had gone too far in curtailing people’s freedoms and rights.

“We wish to condemn in the strongest possible term, the action by the Zambia Police to cancell a prayer service which had been organized by a consortium of Churches, to thank God that the UPND president Hakainde Hichilema had been released from incarceration peacefully,” Nalumango said.

“We were therefore totally taken aback this morning (yesterday) to be informed by the convenor of the thanks giving service, that the Police had ordered him not to go ahead with the function and that the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross, had been surrounded and sealed off by heavily armed mounted officers and others with dogs.”

She wondered how the much talked about dialogue between President Edgar Lungu and Hichilema would be fruitful of the government was not allowing freedom to worship.

“We find this unacceptable, evil, provocative, utterly disturbing and going beyond the pale. Zambians have been hearing songs of dialogue and peace, but we wonder whether this kind of behaviour by the PF, particularly by Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu promotes the nobility of the spirit of dialogue and reconciliation. Does it mean we will again require the intervention of the Commonwealth and Gen Obasanjo to be granted back our freedom to worship? We will not accept the usual explanation that Mr Lungu is not responsible from the above action. Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is in charge of all his officials, he calls the shots, appoints them and the buck therefore stops right with him,” Nalumango said.

“There’s nothing that is legalistically criminal that should stop people from their desires to fellowship with their God, especially in a Nation that is a Christian Nation, a norm the PF have been loudly hailing whenever it suits them. People all over the World have been allowed to practice their religions and worshiping their God on warships, in active war zones, including prisons. How therefore can irreconcilable politics of sheer hate and anger cause us to be prevented from worshiping God, by Police dogs, teargas and batons?”

She warned Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to stop interfering with God’s desires for His people.

“We wish to advise the Home Affairs Minister Mr Steven Kampyongo, that his conscience should trouble him over orders from his office, that bars innocent citizen from fellowshiping with their God, because of rules made by man. For even Paharaoh claimed sovereignty of laws, but God’s divine desire to be worshipped by His people outstrips rules made by Kings and rulers of the earth, at a cost to those that fight Him,” said Nalumango.

“We end by quoting this scripture to Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu who we understand is on holiday in Mfuwe.
Psalm 133:1 ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!…to go up to the House of God in company, and with delight to join together in acts of worship’.”