CiSCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo says President Edgar Lungu’s unexplained absence at the State funeral of Gender Minister Victoria Kalima does not show respect to the deceased, and has asked State House to explain the importance of the Head of State’s trip to Kenya.

In an interview with News Diggers! Bishop Mambo recalled that President Lungu was also absent at the late Lusaka mayor Wilson Kalumba’s funeral.

“It doesn’t show respect for the dead especially that both of them where party officials. When you attend the funeral of someone, it shows your love and affection towards that person and family. Also it helps the family to come in terms with the loss because once you have done that, you are simply saying [that] this person served with honours and we need to honour that person,” he said.

He asked State House to explain the significance of the Kenyan trip, adding that President Edgar Lungu could have appointed Vice-President Inonge Wina to represent him.

“So its only [at] funerals when we show our humility, humbleness, compassion, love and care because loosing a beloved one especially a core labourer, a work mate, its something that can be very painful. Unless you were not close. So the chairman of the cabinet, in this case is the commander-in-chief who is President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. His Kenyan trip, important as it may be, because we haven’t been told what he went to do, but this is why in our Constitution now the Vice-President has a lot of powers. She can act without having to pick another minister. She can be delegated for such. So I think its not right. Its just that Zambia we are becoming a country of hypocrites where we never tell our leaders where they go wrong,” Bishop Mambo said,

“In the eyes of the people, both the absence of the President at the funeral of the late Lusaka mayor and now his own minister, it doesn’t sit well to me as a believer in Christ. Because we must rejoice with those who are rejoicing and mourn with those who are mourning, its biblical. Why should a speech for the President who has decided to go to a foreign land be read by a representative? Even the message of condolences? It doesn’t work. Yes, the Bible tells us about working round the clock but there are times when you look up and say ‘this I cannot do, just for the love of comradeship’.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Mambo urged Zambians elect leaders in 2021 who would put the country first.

“Like I said loosing a loved one is very painful and it will be the family now that will be gossiping ‘she was appointed by the President, she was given a State funeral, but he never even attended’. If you are there the family will be comforted, the nation at large, because both of those were state leaders in their own capacity as minister and mayor. Exemplary leadership is what we are looking for. I’m echoing the sentiment of Dr Nevers Mumba who is saying that lets pray for 2021. Lets rise to the occasion and elect leaders who have tested into leadership and who are morally upright in terms of our compassionate love for one another and putting the country first,” said Bishop Mambo.