Opposition MMD President Nevers Mumba has called on Zambians to stop stereotyping and stigmatizing his political career based on his back ground as a pastor.
Dr. Mumba writes that the debate on his eligibility to stand as republican president based on purely his background is misplaced as a number of clergy men have become presidents and political leaders in their society world over.
The opposition leader argues that people should stop complaining over their decision they make in electing corrupt individuals as they are the same people who have been saying that Church and politics can not mix.
He further explains that even in the bible the church and politics mixed as can be seen from the political leadership of Moses, David, Joshua among others who were political leaders though they were not democratically elected as Democracy did not exist during their time.
“They say that a man of God has to lie and cheat to win elections. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can make realistic sober campaign promises without lying to the electorate. As Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), we have been doing this. Check all our statements since 2012 when I took office as MMD President and you won’t find me giving false “90 Days” type of promises.
Being a Christian leader and a politician are not mutually exclusive. Just because corrupt thieving politicians have taught Zambians dirty politics does not mean that is the correct thing. In the Bible we have several cases of men of God who were also political leaders like Moses, Joseph, Joshua, David, Daniel and his three friends.
They may not have been elected since democracy did not exist at the time, but the principle remains that they were politicians as well as spiritual leaders. They were appointed politicians. Politics is rooted in a Greek word that simply means to govern people. It is not inherently dirty or evil. It is people who are dirty and corrupt.”
He wonders why its is strange that he running for the presidence world over clargy men have been presidents and have held other political positions in the their respective countries including Zimbabwe.
“Many Zambians seem to believe that Nevers Mumba running for president is some strange new thing. Maybe here in Zambia it is, but we have plenty of examples from the rest of the world of Christian leaders who have served as heads of state.
We have many other examples of Christian leaders getting involved in politics at many levels such as Reverend Martin Luther King Jr in the USA who headed the American Civil Rights Movement and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa who tirelessly fought Apartheid. The first President of independent Zimbabwe under Prime Minister Robert Mugabe was Canaan Banana, a Bishop.
In America, Mike Huckabee, James Renshaw Cox, Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson all ran for president and they were all ordained Church Ministers. There are also plenty of Governors in the USA who were pastors such as Rev Huckabee himself who is a Baptist Minister. He is running for President again in 2016.
In Zambia, we have Rev Danny Pule who is a Pastor heading a political party and wants to run for President. There is Rev Gladys Nyirongo, Stan Kristafor and Ronnie Shikapwasha who are all political leaders,” reads part of the statement.
He also implores on Zambians to choose God-fearing leaders as opposed to corrupt individuals.
“Some will argue that we have been let down before by some Christians who became political leaders but failed morally or made big mistakes. This is true, but it does not negate the principle that there is nothing wrong with a Christian leader running for public office.
We need god-fearing people to be presidents and Ministers in this country in order for our politics to change. They do not necessarily have to be Pastors, but they should fear God. And if some of them do turn out to be Pastors or Bishops, let us not disqualify them on that basis, but on the basis of their history and what they promise to do for Zambia.” Dr. Mumba says.
The opposition leader further wondered why it was not acceptable for a pastor to participate in politics when other careers such as lawyers, teachers, medical and doctors among others can freely join politics without anyone stereotyping and stigmatizing their move to do so.