Church threaten never to officiate at Church Services where political cadres are present
The three Church mother bodies have expressed deep sadness at the recent rampant political violence that has rocked the country.
The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) said in a joint statement that what happened recently at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is unprecedented and a great shame to this God-fearing nation.
They state that the fact that the violence was spearheaded by the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who only a few months ago were on the receiving end of such violence makes them wonder if this is truly the change Zambians wanted.
They said the manner of the violence at the Cathedral suggests pre-meditated and planned behavior adding that the action was evil and wrong.
They said they are deeply dissatisfied as Church mother bodies with the reactions from the PF leadership.
“What we have heard so far is too little, too late and very half-hearted indeed. Feeble reactions such as what we have heard send a wrong message to cadres. We expected robust condemnation from the ruling party. The PF as the party in Government needs to demonstrate that it is a party that does not condone violence, even under extreme provocation.
Feeble reactions such as what we have heard send a wrong message to cadres. We expected robust condemnation from the ruling party. The PF as the party in Government needs to demonstrate that it is a party that does not condone violence, even under extreme provocation
The PF party can afford to be magnanimous. Doing so will endear them to the wider Zambian public.”
The Church mother bodies also called upon the leadership of the Zambia Police Service to be non-partisan and execute their duties of maintaining law and order in a professional manner.
“We feel extremely let down by our men and women in uniform,” the statement said.
They said the Police should uphold the law at all times regardless of who the perpetrators are.
“On our part as Church mother bodies, we are resolved to remain non-partisan and we take some delight and pride in bringing people from all walks of life and political persuasions together. We are committed to providing time and space for all Zambians to reason and pray together in the spirit of “One Zambia, One Nation.”
Indeed, our Churches should be that neutral space which brings all people on an equal basis, in the presence of God. This sacred space should not be invaded by partisan politics nor hijacked by people with selfish motives. In order to maintain a solemn atmosphere imbued with a sense of national unity, we hereby declare that any Church Service hosted by the said three Church Mother Bodies shall not condone any form of politicking.”
As Churches, we cannot sit by and watch our Churches being desecrated and turned into battle grounds for political opponents bent on mischief and shameful acts of violence.
The Church mother bodies have since declared that political cadres shall not be tolerated anywhere near or inside the churches before, during and after the official service of worship.
“We shall also not tolerate any party regalia such as T-shirts, Chitenges, caps, and the like to be worn during Church Services. We urge all political parties to co-operate with us and restrain their cadres from attending Church services in political attire.”
“As Churches, we cannot sit by and watch our Churches being desecrated and turned into battle grounds for political opponents bent on mischief and shameful acts of violence. In future, we shall not in any way officiate at Church Services where political cadres are present and are behaving in an uncultured and indisciplined manner.”