PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says church leaders should talk to him, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili not to plunge this country into chaos.
Speaking when he met religious leaders in Bweengwa, Wednesday, President Lungu said if the country was plunged into chaos there would be no winner.
“I just want to reassure and encourage you that continue being there for the Zambian people. Continue being there for the Zambian leaders, continue being there for the Zambian politicians. And continue praying particularly for the politicians as we go into 2021 elections. This is imperative on your part because that is your calling. So make sure that you apply yourselves fully, prayer works wonders, prayer can redeem us. But apart from praying for us, please talk to us, talk to Edgar Lungu, talk to Hakainde Hichilema, talk to Chishimba Kambwili so that God can touch them so that they serve the Zambian people with the best of intentions not to plunge the country into chaos. Because in chaos there is no winner, when we plunge the country into chaos there will be no winner, winners are the ones that come to take our remains after we have destroyed ourselves and I don’t think we want to go that route,” President Lungu said.
“And most importantly bringing Christianity to the political arena so that the Zambian politicians become Christians or at least believe in Christian values. I am saying so because I know as Christian brothers we can always talk to each other, as Christian brothers you always want to listen and understand what my friend’s position is. And you don’t want to take his life or even destroy him or even harm the order and normalcy in the country but if you are not of God you won’t care the less what happens, all you care for is that I want that office, I want that vehicle or I want the protocols and glamour that go with public office, the people will perish,”
He said politicians had made politics dirty.
“There is nothing dirty about politics, it is politicians who have made politics dirty. So let’s sanitise politics, let us clean the political arena by throwing in as many Christians as possible and when we come to your church during this time, when you become our favourites because of wanting to lobby for support make sure that you convict us, you win us over so that even if we came trying to win support from your church members you also allow Christ to win our souls so that we become Christians. Even our proclamation that Zambia is a Christian nation will become a reality because people will feel for others as they exercise their office powers, as they share the national cake. They will not bother about tribe, they will not bother about who voted for them, they will just bother about service delivery to the Zambian people,” he said.
And President Lungu said church leaders should not worry about politicians shifting from one political party to another but should be concerned with their conduct.
“Remember that we are one Zambia, one nation and church. Politicians come and go. Politicians keep changing today they are in UNIP, tomorrow they are in MMD, the next day they are in UPND, the other day they are in PF life goes on. So don’t worry about who is on what political party but just worry about what they are doing. If what they are doing is right work with them. By the same token don’t worry about tribe in Zambia. There is no tribe which can defeat any other tribe. There is only one Zambian tribe where we belong,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu said government would make sure that the impact of Covid-19 on the church is mitigated.
“You have mentioned something very important pertaining to the Covid situation. It is for me to just confirm that we are working on programs which will help the church to recover from Covid-19 negative effects. And I think by now the Minister of Religious Affairs and National guidance may have come up with a draft program of how this will be done. But we know that before she can come out with a specific stimulus package for the church there a lot of things you can do with the church membership because the church members are our Zambia people, they have program which they have been running which you yourselves have been running. You provide for the vulnerable, you provide for the widows, you provide for the youths, you provide for the girl child. So we are saying all those programs which have been going on we will get involved as partners so that we carry them on. If you have been doing brick making programs with the youths, let the District Commissioner know about it, she will interrogate the program and then we will see how we can fund it,” said President Lungu.
“Because the line ministries are there to ensure that we fulfil service delivery to our people even through the church. So all those economic programs which have with the church should run with church as partners and stakeholders because the beneficiaries are the same. The same Christians who come to church are the same we have as party members and cadres. So we are two sides of the same coin. What has affected you in terms of Covid-19 will be looked at to ensure that you are helped to bring back the life in the economies of your people in the church and the church itself becomes vibrant. Because we know that the church depends on its membership, the church depends on offering, without that it cannot do. And they cannot be tithe or offering if the people who come to church are broke because of Covid-19. So we are all fixed. And I think we need to resolve this problem and we will resolve it through the church amongst many other stakeholders groups.”