PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says political tension could easily be on rise as the country goes to the 2021 general elections.
And President Lungu says the church should work with parents and teachers across the nation to arrest the moral degradation that has engulfed young people.
Meanwhile, newly installed Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAOG) Presiding Bishop Joshua Banda says the country cannot go to the 2021 general elections without political leaders’ dialogue.
Speaking during Bishop Banda’s installation as PAOG presiding bishop, Sunday, President Lungu asked the church to promote an environment that would foster a peaceful and democratic electoral environment.
He said his government would continue to operate an open door policy where church leaders could reach them at any time to give necessary counsel and guidance.
“As I have noted in the recent past and as we go to the 2021 general elections, political tension could easily be on the rise. I wish to call upon the church to promote an environment that will foster a democratic electoral environment devoid of violence and other electoral malpractices that could threaten the peace and security of our nation. We should not allow elections to divide us. We should remain One Zambia, One Nation according to our motto. My government will continue to operate an open door policy where the church leaders can reach us at any time to give us necessary counsel and guidance,” President Lungu said.
He appealed to the church to raise its voice against the rising vices that threaten unity, peace and security in the country.
“The church has also been instrumental in promoting peace and unity among our people and had helped to anchor the principal and values of who we are as a nation. It is for this reason that I call upon you the church to raise your voice against rising vices that threaten the unity, peace and security of our country. We have to guard our hard earned peace jealously. Let your prophetic voice be further raised for the common good of our entire African Continent and beyond,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu asked the church to work with parents and teachers across the nation to arrest the moral degradation that had engulfed young people.
“I also want to take this opportunity to ask the church to work with parents and teachers across the nation to arrest the moral degradation that has engulfed young people. Of particular concern is the rising display of immorality and juvenile delinquency and the wanton abuse of the internet. We are witnessing significant abuse of recreational drugs by young people. This has brought about serious social challenges such as the rise in teen pregnancies, child marriages and early school drop outs. The young people are our investment. Their moral, educational and material life is important and the church is at the center of this cause,” said President Lungu.
He congratulated Bishop Banda and the newly installed PAOG Council of Bishops.
Meanwhile, Bishop Banda says the country cannot go to the 2021 general elections without political party leaders’ dialogue.
“Your Excellency, Zambia is bigger than elections because elections come and go. Therefore, I call for genuine reconciliation and this is asking all political party leaders to agree to do so without any conditions. Forgiveness is very important and this country cannot go to the 2021 general elections without dialogue. We can’t go to the 2021 general elections with making peace with one another,” Bishop Banda said.
Bishop Banda said the church was sick and tired political party leaders blaming each other.
“We as the church are sick and tired of this blame game by you politicians. Forgiveness and true reconciliation is needed and Mr President, allow all you political leaders to have a round table reconciliation for the seek of the peace of our country, Zambia,” said Bishop Banda.