Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) youth Prince Ndoyi has condemned the action by the three Church mother bodies to proceed with the consultative dialogue meeting without the involvement of other political parties.

Ndoyi has accused the leaders of the three church mother bodies of driving an ‘opposition agenda.’

In a statement, Ndoyi argued that the conflicting statements issued by ZCID and the church last week were unfortunate, charging that the church was promoting polarization and partisan politics.

“In commenting on today’s meeting where the three Church mother bodies have chosen to go ahead to hold a dialogue meeting with UPND and its 10 alliance partners contrary to the agreed upon position, with their facilitating partner ZCID, is ultimately unfortunate. Yesterday’s events where the three Church mother bodies and ZCID gave conflicting statements is untimely seeing that we are in the festive season and unfortunate. Suffice to say, no one single member of the joint secretariat had ‘VETO POWER’ to bulldoze their way against the collective, and today, that’s what we shall be subjected to; a dialogue meeting between the Church and UPND. To say this was strange could probably be an understatement because the Church is generally believed to be sacred space, free from any whiff of partisan politics,” Ndoyi stated.

He added that the danger of the Church going ahead with the meeting without involving other political parties had the potential to drag it into “narrow partisan trenches.”

“The danger of their action to go ahead with today’s meeting without PF, MMD, FDD, among others, is that it has the potential to drag the Church into narrow partisan trenches. Sometimes, criticism aimed at the church is unfair and unwarranted. But other times, they absolutely deserve the criticism that comes their way! And, of course, the Church will inevitably run into criticism for shooting themselves in the foot. What can we do? There’s a myth that the Church shouldn’t meddle in politics. But if politics is the way a community orders its life across time for the common good, then the Church should meddle away, working to make sure the marginalized, ignored, and forgotten have a share in the common good. What the Church shouldn’t be is partisan. Partisans confuse their identities with the agenda of a party. Christian partisans mistakenly believe that the mercy, peace, and justice—the shalom—of God’s Kingdom can be captured by the narrow agenda of a political party. And when this happens, as it often has, the results can be disastrous, especially for the Church as it loses the integrity of its prophetic witness,” stated Ndoyi.

“This action in actual fact is promoting polarisation and partisan politics — thus effectively, further poisoning the political environment. The true conversation we should be having is hard. It’s even harder when the conversation emanates from partisan trenches. Let’s contextualize this action, politically, in view of the ongoing national political dialogue process. We must put our fingers on the deeper issue. What does this mean and what impression does it create thereof? How can the Church rise above board, without appearing to be condescending to partisan politics, thereby, taking sides in view of their role of Chairmanship of the ongoing dialogue process?”