Bishop John Mambo says clergymen must stop allowing politicians at the pulpit.
And Bishop Mambo has asked members of parliament to reject the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) Bill once it is tabled in Parliament.
Commenting on President Edgar Lungu’s remarks that clergymen must keep praying for politicians even though they sometimes go to church to fool them, Bishop Mambo said politicians had been allowed to enter were they were not supposed to enter.
“We have allowed politicians to enter where they should not enter. Let these politicians visit our churches, you can just acknowledge them, but once you give them a pulpit, this is where we are losing our power as the body of Christ where they take us to be equal and yet the mandate of the body of Christ is drawn from God himself, the king of kings. But when they come into these churches, we make them angels, we have made them ‘holier than thou’ and yet we know that they have weaknesses with the corruption and everything that is going on in the country,” Bishop Mambo said.
Asked whether clergymen could withstand the temptation of being swayed by gifts, Bishop Mambo said there was need to regulate donations to the churches.
“They come with big money but this is why we should not be tempted. You know these are the last days and the Bible says ‘you shall know them by their fruits’. I am also wanting and I would want to have a Range Rover and so forth, but it mustn’t come from a politician buying for me instead of the body of Christ that is the church itself. Because if you give K150,000 to a local church, who are you giving? It is given directly to the pastor, how do you account for it and so forth. I feel we should stop that. When the same politicians started going round telling us that when president [Frederick] Chiluba, may his soul rest in peace, was giving away slash fund money that was not supposed to be given. I think there must be channels, even the gifts that come from the President, there should be a department or a ministry or somewhere where these funds will be channelled through,” Bishop Mambo said.
“Because if you give me this money as Mambo and maybe I don’t even have a board and I don’t even have a local church council, so how do you account for it? Who helps you to say this money is God’s money intended for that? So gifts are there, they will entice and corrupt the mind of the clergy and this is why today, we have Christians for Lungu, which should not be the case, there is no Christians for Lungu, there was never Christians for Kaunda even though during his time there was ‘kumulu lesa, panshi Kaunda’ but no one was expected those days to say we are Christians for Kaunda, never. We were voting between a frog and a human but it never happened.”
He insisted that people should fear the House of the Lord.
“Before I advise politicians, I must advise the body of Christ. The wrath of the lord will be upon us if we turn the house of God into a playhouse where we can do all sorts of things. There must be fear. None of us is an angel and none of us is a saint but really, in wanting to follow Christ, there must be a limit to say this I cannot do, your conscience should work on you, you are better off going to till the land than just taking what you are given because you want to take shortcuts by using the church,” Bishop Mambo said.
“God deliver us, help us. You cannot use God in vain; you cannot give god a bouncing cheque, no. It is said, ‘don’t run your affairs alone, every decision must start with God’ but we are not seeing that because we have allowed the politicians to enter the pulpit, to enter the upper room instead of sitting on the pews of a given church.”
Meanwhile, Bishop Mambo asked members of parliament to reject NDF resolutions.
“And we are saying to members of parliament, object this bill because a constitution is consensus, it’s majority. The majority has been there in the previous constitutional making processes, ending with the technical committee which has got a very good report. Using that, all the lacunas and all that would not have happened. You would even be insulting us more, I speak now as a former member of the Mung’omba constitution review, you simply tell the people of Zambia that ‘you are stupid, you are useless’, you don’t think because the majority objected deputy ministers, the 50 percent plus one came from the majority of Zambians, where does the coalition government come in and all that when you cannot even have a government of unity by embracing those that have lost? Instead, it’s name calling and things of that nature,” said Bishop Mambo.