Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Reverend Godfridah Sumaili says one of her Ministry’s achievements has been putting the topic of values on every Zambian’s lips.
And Rev Sumaili has vowed that her Ministry will continue protecting Zambia’s morals by not allowing the likes of Zodwa Wabantu into the country to display their nudity.
Asked what achievements the Ministry had attained since its establishment on ZNBC’s Sunday Interview, Rev Sumaili listed putting the topic of national values on citizens’ lips.
“I think that this Ministry has done quite a lot, by God’s grace. Right now, as we are talking, the topic of values is now on the people of Zambia’s lips. Even when we have an election, I think the people are now looking for a leader who has these values. The issue of values has now become a political issue. When choosing leaders, we want to see a leader who has integrity; we want to see a leader who has moral values; a leader who will respect the people; a leader who will respect the law; a leader who loves the people. So, these values are now part of our governance system. These values are now part of our family system; they are being talked about in our churches. So, the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs has brought to the fore the importance of us, as people, respecting values, knowing about values, but also, it has brought to the fore the importance of being together, working together as a family,” Rev Sumaili said.
When challenged if she could still maintain that her Ministry had made positive contributions in the wake of high corruption levels, Rev Sumaili said; “That is the more reason we need this Ministry because of all these challenges that the country is facing…Yes, you have talked about corruption, it is of big concern and, yes, you will recall that when the President opened Parliament recently, it is an issue that he brought out and government is very serious to deal with the issue of corruption…we are aware, as government, that we have to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission, but also, it is important that, as government, we tackle this issue of corruption with honesty. We need to put in systems, it is not just about having good people, it is about having proper systems that will ensure accountability, it is about also raising awareness among the people, teaching them the importance of honesty, the importance of respecting public resources. We cannot go far as a country if you are stealing.”
And Rev Sumaili said her Ministry would continue protecting Zambia’s culture by not allowing the likes of Zodwa Wabantu into the country.
“We are a sovereign nation. Even in your own house, you don’t just leave doors wide open, someone can come in and go out, you don’t do that. Somebody has to knock on your door and if you want them to come in, then they come in. The same thing with our nation, Zambia, we need to jealously guard our nation, we cannot open it up to anybody. Remember, we are talking about values, principles and ethics. We are teaching our people issues of morality, we have our culture and I can tell you that the culture of Zambia is very rich and many nations envy the peace that we have in our nation. We cannot squander it so that the likes of Zodwa coming in, to come naked, why? We cannot allow such a thing. It is not part of our culture, it is not part of our Christian beliefs,” she said.
When show host Grevazio Zulu told Rev Sumaili that he did not agree that she should police culture and people’s beliefs, the Minister said; “No, it is not about policing.”
Asked how government decided who was a false prophet, Rev Sumaili said it was easy to know them by their fruits.
“It is very clear, we said we are a Christian nation, this is how we have defined ourselves as a nation, it is very clear, this is in the preamble of the Constitution…so how do you know if someone is a false prophet or real prophet, the Bible says: ‘you shall know them by their fruit.’ We are expecting the servants of God to preach the word of God, to preach the word of Jesus Christ. We are not going to accept a situation where somebody comes in and starts swindling the people of their little money,” Rev Sumaili said.
“Some of these prophets even come to do events where they sell tickets, but if somebody is going to charge people to hear the word of God, that is not acceptable…we have to help the people, you know there is a lot of desperation out there.”
Asked whether she was insinuating that adults could not make their own judgement, Rev Sumaili insisted that it was government’s responsibility to guide the people.
“We have to help them, we have to guide them. You know, people are desperate! There are a lot of social issues; some have been sick for a long time and then someone says: ‘I can heal that, pay this’, no, that is not the way it is supposed to be done…you cannot sell the power of God, it is released to the people freely,” she insisted.
On the production and circulation of pornographic material on social media, Rev Sumaili noted that social media was a threat to maintenance of morals.
“It is very sad in a Christian nation, but we know that social media has been a challenge where moral issues are concerned. It is very unfortunate that these things keep circulating and, as government, we have taken it very seriously and I know that ZICTA is doing something about it, we cannot go on like this as a nation. I know it is happening everywhere, but for Zambia, we want to see how we can clean this situation. It is not healthy for our children and even for families so it is something we have taken very seriously, we are discussing it, I know that the Ministry of Communications has already begun to do something about it,” said Rev Sumaili.