St Mathew the Apostle parish priest of Kitwe Fr Steven Katebe says politicians must not use the church to divide the people.

Speaking when NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili visited his parish, Sunday, Fr Katebe said it was expected of leaders to unite the country and preach love.

“We must all radiate that light of God in us so that we don’t become hopeless, but we become filled with that hope that indeed, mother Zambia is meant to prosper, mother Zambia is meant to flourish regardless of the challenges that we have, That’s why leaders are there to provide guidance. Secondly, as our leaders, don’t be a source of division, and again, don’t use the church to divide the people,” Fr Katebe said.

“We expect a lot from you as our leaders and we love you and we always pray for you that the best can come from you our leaders. You may feel ‘these people they don’t love me’, those people they don’t love you or that they don’t love that person, we all love you as our leader and sometimes when you speak, it is not that we hate any of the political players. We speak as the moral conscience of the nation. We speak to provide that moral guidance that you our leaders should embrace and at the end of the day, you work together.”

Fr Katebe said it was the responsibility of all citizens, including the church, to provide checks and balances to ensure that the country was being governed well.

“So at the end of the day, through you Honorable Kambwili, I am saying this to all political leaders, let’s embrace unity, let’s promote oneness, let’s promote that peace, especially the peace we have that comes from God himself. And I pray that as our leaders, you also carry that peace within you so that whatever turbulence that may come, you stand firm, you stand resolved and you stand focussed, level minded so that you lead us to a destination where God wants you to lead us. That is the expectation of most Zambians. That’s the expectation wherever you go. So on behalf of the Catholic church, carry this message with you wherever you are that we are looking up to you as people carrying God’s face, people who are meant to bring up love, unity and reconciliation within our nation. Without love, like I said in mass, without love, we cannot achieve anything, without love, whatever effort you can put in, you cannot achieve anything, you will fail and the blame will not on you as our leaders but on the entire nation as Zambian people. So carry us with you, we need you and we love you. Yes, checks and balances, provide them because each and everyone of us are meant to ensure that mother Zambia is governed according to God’s wishes,” said Fr Katebe.

“Checks and balances are there, just like the church, through political leaders, we work together to bring meaningful development to our nation. These are the few words which I wanted to speak, through you Honorable Kambwili to take with you to your brothers and sisters in the political arena. Today, I won’t allow you to speak, I wanted first to speak to you but when you come next time, I will give you to say a few words, I hope you understand.”

Recently, President Edgar Lungu rebuked church leaders who run big cathedrals and synagogues not to think that they are more holy than others, daring them to take him on of they feel aggrieved.

Speaking at Christ the King International Church for all Nations in Ndola’s Nkwazi township, the Head of State said Christ lived in people’s hearts and not the big cathedrals which some priests owned.