FORMER national guidance and religious affairs minister Godfridah Sumaili says the National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation was characterised by a low turnout at Lusaka Show Grounds because people were uncertain on whether the event would be held.

In an interview, Rev Sumaili said preparations for the event started late.

“I am happy and Zambians are happy that the event took place because that is what we wanted, that they continue to worship their God. That is what Zambians want and they are happy. I think there was just uncertainty as to whether the day was going to be there or not, I think that is what happened. They started preparations late. But I am sure that we will pick up next year because people will know in advance and people will be informed about the prayers and will turn up. Otherwise, the gathering was okay, we had prayers throughout the country and I think that is what is important, that we pray,” she said.

Rev Sumaili called on government to put an end to political violence.

“We heard the clergy praying against the violence, that was in a way, awareness. And I think that we have to mean what we say. Reconciliation means that we have to love one another, we are one Zambia, we are one nation, we are one people. There is no need to continue fighting, elections are gone, let us now come together and build the nation. We expect that the government will take this matter seriously and stop the violence,” said Rev Sumaili.