National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili has called on the Church to play a role in ensuring peace and unity during next year’s elections.
In a speech on her behalf by permanent secretary Howard Sikwela during the church and religious bodies state dialogue platform in Lusaka, Thursday, Rev Sumaili said the church should be an anchor of peace and unity in the nation rather than cause divisions in the name of freedom of expression or association.
“The country will next year be going to the palls and people are looking to the Church to foster peace and unity in the nation. I call upon you to play your role in ensuring peace and unity reign before, during and after elections in our Country, Zambia. The Church and religious bodies are supposed to be an anchor of peace and unity in the nation and not to divide the nation in the name of freedom of expression or association,” Rev Sumaili said.
She said her Ministry had commenced dissemination of policy on national guidance and religious affairs in provinces, starting with Central Province.
“Allow me to thank everyone that participated in the drafting and launching of the policy on national guidance and religious affairs which the Ministry launched on June 30. I am pleased to inform you that the Ministry has since commenced dissemination of the policy in Provinces starting with Central Province and is expected to roll out to the remaining Provinces soon. I want also to inform you that the department of immigration under the Ministry of Home Affairs has joined us in this meeting because of the numerous complaints that my Ministry has received from Churches and religious bodies concerning the application for VISAS for foreign clergy who come for conferences, crusades and other church functions,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rev Sumaili said government valued the support and counsel which the church was offering.
“The government of President Edgar Lungu values your support and counsel in all matters of governance. It is for this reason that we are gathered to share our thoughts and discuss the best we can collectively serve the people of Zambia. This i the reason why this platform accords us an opportunity to find solutions to the problems that the nation is facing like Coronavirius,” said Rev Sumaili.