PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema says there is need to have a mindset change and ensure people do not take what does not belong to them.

And President Hichilema has hailed the church for facilitating spiritual growth by teaching values like “thou shall not steal”.

Meanwhile President Hichilema says the discontinuation of the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs and realignment of ministries is meant to ensure government serves the people better.

Speaking during the thanksgiving service for peaceful elections at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Sunday, President Hichilema said citizens must work for things they want.

“Fellow citizens, we have moved past the election period, we have passed through this major process leading us to this change, change of leadership for service. I believe it is now time for us all to participate, to support the absolute need for economic and social development of our country. That includes working on our mindset as well, that which doesn’t belong to us is not ours to take, that we must work for things that we want. We must work hard. We must set our eyes on Jesus as our guide and as our inspiration,” President Hichilema said.

“Our government was elected into office to serve the people, we will do our very level best and with your help, we will deliver on the hopes. We believe, we are confident, difficult as it may be [to] deliver on the hopes and aspirations of all our people. We thank God for everything, the specific prayer that came through here, the homily, the message given, they are not inspired by us humans [but] by God. We desire to do small pieces but all connected for the greater good.”

President Hichilema hailed the church for facilitating spiritual growth by teaching values like “thou shall not steal”.

“Our government will always open its doors and lend its ears to the church. These church mother bodies have helped us through difficult times in this country. The church must never hesitate to call on us or advise us, to challenge us as well, because you do that as tools of God. It is not just bringing us together, keeping the stability, it is the good work we are doing to facilitate spiritual growth especially amongst our children. Because it is from there the nurseling grows with the right values ‘thou shalt know steal’, and other values from that young age,” President Hichilema said.

“They (the church) hold us strong as we grow up, us we occupy those roles like these roles that the 18 million Zambians have granted us. You reflect, you go back where you come from, how you were brought up. Moving forward, the government will give the support that is necessary within our challenges for our church to grow strong [and] bigger. Unity in our country is a must.”

Meanwhile, President Hichilema said the realignment of ministries was meant to serve the country better.

“We are aware that there are concerns being raised amongst certain quarters including the body of Christ, the church concerning the discontinuation in their view of the ministry of national guidance and religious affairs. Your team is realigning ministries to serve this country better, it is not to remove any functions. The functions are there, may be restructured, reorganized and we plead with you to accept with us. As the English say, ‘the taste of the pudding is in eating’, you should expect your government to work with you in reality, in practice even better,” said President Hichilema.

“That too, we believe, is God’s way, we thank him for the guidance through that process. Let me put on record that the church plays a pivotal role in the integral agenda of this country. I therefore wish to reiterate to working together with the church, not parts of the church, with the whole church, with the body of Christ. It doesn’t matter the specific church one goes to; the body of Christ is one. We are all church members. So, we want to emphasise our commitment to working with you, the church to improve the lives of our people. The church will have space to operate freely, to worship freely. We will always listen to the men and women of God as they shepherd us towards the kingdom of God.”