Northmead Assembly of God Church Overseer, Joshua Banda, has refuted allegations reported in some sections of the media that he said opposition UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema, will not win the August 11 elections because of his hate speech.
In a statement to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Northmead Assembly of God Executive Assistant and Head of Media, Muunda Palale, says the report in the Daily Nation newspaper of Sunday, March 27, 2016, was untrue.
The Daily Nation ran a story quoting Bishop Banda that “Zambians will not vote for UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema as Republican President if his strategy is to use unpalatable language, and hate speech against President Edgar Lungu.”
Bishop Banda said truly the reporter interviewed him on phone but he never said a word directing to the opposition UPND leader.
He disclosed that the part of the story referring to the UPND and Mr Hichilema as reported by the newspaper and consequently by some online publications, is a misinterpretation of facts and, therefore, untrue.
Bishop Banda stated that the message uttered was generic and meant to provide counsel to all political leaders, that using unpalatable language and hate speech would not help them ascend in power or retain the presidency.
He further said the Church remains non-partisan and impartial in their engagement in national affairs.
Bishop Banda added that the Church has since communicated to the Daily Nation newspaper Editor in Chief, Richard Sakala, to register its displeasure and disappointment.
The bishop said Mr Sakala has, therefore, admitted that there was some misinterpretation and since retracted applicable sections of the story in today’s edition of the paper on page two.