Muvi TV offices left vacant after Police forced staff out last night
Muvi TV offices left vacant after Police forced staff out last night

The three church mother bodies have issued a scathing attack on the PF government’s recent moves to silence the private media.

In a strongly worded joint statement issued by Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops Teresphore Mpundu, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia President Bishop Joseph Imakando and Council of Churches in Zambia President Dr. Alfred Kalembo, the three church mother bodies said government’s actions are shameful.

They said they are deeply saddened and alarmed by the Government’s muzzling, harassing and persecution of the private media.

“The suspending of licenses for the Post Newspaper, MUVI TV and closing down of some radio stations to mention but a few incidents marks a shameful period in our history reminiscent of the sad past when the world we knew was only through the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and ZNBC,” they said.

They said the excuses that government has offered for its actions have been lame.

“Lame excuses have been offered by the Government for its shameful action but the public cannot be deceived and has not swallowed the lies. Paradoxically it was the Post Newspaper that so eloquently supported the cause of democracy and press freedom and PF while in opposition greatly benefitted from the support and opportunities of the private media,” they said.

“Why lift the ladder now that the party is at the top? The President must take action to reverse this ill-advised and retrogressive affront on the freedom of expression.”

The Church leaders have also appeal to all media out-lets, both public and private, to adhere to professional ethics and avoid being channels of hate speech.

On the ongoing court process challenging the re-election of Edgar Lungu, the Church mother bodies charged that contemptuous statements coming PF and UPND directed at the Constitutional Court are unacceptable.

“We deplore and condemn the shameful threats by the PF to the judges of the Constitutional Court. This is clearly intended to intimidate the constitutional court which citizens should not accept. We humbly but earnestly appeal to the President to rise up to the occasion and publicly reprimand and reign on his Party’s cadres who are intimidating the Judiciary, the Constitutional Court and all of us,” they said.

“As a lawyer he must be the first one to defend the rule of law and to be seen and heard to do so; this he has yet to do,” they added.

“We further appeal to all Christians to be beacons of peace and to desist from violence even in the face of provocation as the Lord exhorts us: “Blessed are the peace-makers, they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).”

“We remind the clergy (pastors and priests) that as official representatives of the Church they must remain strictly nonpartisan or risk dividing their own Christian communities. It is therefore unethical for us or for them to campaign for one or another political party. Therefore, no giving of politician a platform in the churches or church premises to campaign for their parties,” they said.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Any sane person would know that this very letter is quintessentially partisan! For there is no freedom of expression without responsibility! The call to freedom is the call to responsibility! Anyone who purports to be speaking for the masses’ freedom of speech and yet is against responsible reporting is a Hypocrity! Draftors of this so called letter should rethink their theology and morality!!

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    • You’re personally attacking Lungu in this letter, but one wonders why you kept quiet on the ethnic cleansing sponsored by HH that took place in Southern province. On the issue of the Post even the Bible does not support you cause it says ‘pay Kaisala what belongs to Kaisala’. The three church mother bodies can’t fail to pay the debt that the Post has with ZRA if they genuinely want it to reopen,after all the Bible encourages us to be of help to those in need. I’ve not heard of any threats on the Concourt coming from the PF. There are a lot of incoherent statements in this letter which has left me doubting it’s authenticity.

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    • Whether this statement is authentic or not remains subject of another day. What is true however is the tendency that has emerged of carders assuming more powers than constitutional office bearers. This is in fact true when you consider threats that were meted on Attorney General (Kalaluka) by PF carders. So, the church mother bodies are welcome in reminding them where they came from and where they are.
      On the accusations by @Ba sebenza on why they kept quiet regarding the so-called ‘ethnic cleansing’, It is common knowledge that this was stage managed by PF. It is the same case with that “bemba teacher’ called Pamela Chanda who has never been found. Propaganda, deciet, lies and more lies is the order of this your government.

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  2. The three mother bodies ar channeling their appeal to a wrong guy lungu,he is the man behind all this confusion.as those christian for lungu,why was the message issued before August 11.?stop living in fear.

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  3. OK IMWE BA BASHOP APA I CANT SUPPORT YOU IF THESE MEDIAS DONT WANT TO PAY TAXES PUTTING THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE WORKING FOR THEM AT RISK IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. WHY SHOULD WE ENRICH THE POST NEWSPAPER WHEN BUY THE COPIES BUT M’MEMBE POCKECTS THE TAX HE CHARGES THE CUSTOMERS? THATS LAWLESSNESS COZ HE IS THE ONE WHO EVEN CRIES OUT FIRST THAT NO DEVELOPMENT IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. WHY SHOULD WE SURELY PROMOTE THIEVING LIKE THAT IN OUR COUNTRY?? ECL PLEASE DONT LISTEN TO BISHOPS OF SUCH NATURE. THE BIBLE SAYS GIVE TO CIZER WHAT BELONGS TO CIZER! AS FOR THOSE OTHER 3 MEDIAS SUSPENDED RECENTLY, PLEASE LET THEM NOT INCITE THE PUBLIC TO RISE AGAINST ECZ EVEN WHEN THE INFORMATION PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC WAS ACCURATE. ANYWAY CERTAIN CHURCHES HAVE BEEN IN THE HISTORY IN EARTH HISTORY TO CREATE…

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    • what about the ministers that have not paid back the money they illegally took as salaries when they were not supposed to be in office, they have stolen from the people too;

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  4. We call upon the President as a Christian to adhere to the church leaders’ call on him to reopen the closed news houses accordingly. This is a very critical time to show that he is humble and able therefore to respect the men of God. If the President heeds this call he will demonstrate that he really respects the counsel of the men of God.

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  5. Lungu and PF will not tolerate independent media incase they tell the nation about the looting and mismanagement of our reasources.

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  6. ELC IS A LAWLESSNESS MAN. HE IS DIFERENT FROM LATE SC LEVY P. MWANAWASA. ECL HAS NEVER WON ANY CASE WHEN HE WAS A PRACTITIONER BUT ENDED UP STEALING MONEY FROM POOR PENSIONERS WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A LEADERS SUCH AS THIS ONE?

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  7. This is the problem with Church Bodies, the failure to understand that God does not do human Gov’t Politics. ‘Scathing’ remarks are judgemental and therefore fall short of God’s command. If we look at Jesus Christ who lived in Jerusalem at a highly political time, did he ask for a Ministry of Religion through which he could deliver a Fair and Righteous environment for the people? He stayed out of Gov’t Politics and did not seek influence in the Roman Empire. Rather God’s teaching AND His Kingdom TO Come was what Jesus delivered. If this kind of interference with Gov’t is what the Ministry will deliver then Zambia will have a very confusing bubbling soup of a gov’t comprising many conflicting interest groups. Rather these church bodies must work in the background to give…

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    • Rather these church bodies must work in the background to give guidance to Gov’t and the elected Leader. To act as Counsel to the Leader, NOT to Control him. BEWARE President Lungu, that not all that speaks Faith us Faith fir surely some of these are UPND groups.

      If these Bodies are genuine, they would be far more concerned with the bile those Media bodies were spreading and in that way contributing to violence in Zambia. They should condemn the inhuman bile these Media bodies were spreading, affecting people and their quality of life.

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    • @ 1mbecile abroad

      It is convicted embezzler who wants to control churches through “Ministry for Religion Affairs”.

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  8. This letter has two faces and two tones. One is condemning the government and then warning media houses to report ethically. So what is the comment on closing media houses that don’t report ethically and incite violence? Secondly I am deeply worried with the anger portrayed in this letter from the Church. Is this what the Word of God tells us about councelling the leadership? It appears we have a church divided. You are sure the President has not respected the rule of law to prevail in this country. Honestly how come the whole country has been held at ransom just by two people and the court of law? He refused to be inaugurated due to the court petition going on and someone should say he has not been seen to act according to the law. Let’s give credit where it is due. By the way with…

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  9. By the way with this type of anger from the church, how is the Gospel being preached in churches these days? Where are we heading to as a country if the church can show such kind of anger

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  10. Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia President Bishop Joseph Imakando or Rev Pukuta Mwanza. If the earlier I can just welcome to politics but be strong this is not for people whowill faint other wise quit. The first one from Mbondi indigo YONDO. “OK IMWE BA BASHOP APA I CANT SUPPORT YOU IF THESE MEDIAS DONT WANT TO PAY TAXES PUTTING THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE WORKING FOR THEM AT RISK IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. WHY SHOULD WE ENRICH THE POST NEWSPAPER WHEN BUY THE COPIES BUT M’MEMBE POCKECTS THE TAX HE CHARGES THE CUSTOMERS? THATS LAWLESSNESS COZ HE IS THE ONE WHO EVEN CRIES OUT FIRST THAT NO DEVELOPMENT IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. WHY SHOULD WE SURELY PROMOTE THIEVING LIKE THAT IN OUR COUNTRY?? ECL PLEASE DONT LISTEN TO BISHOPS OF SUCH NATURE. THE BIBLE SAYS GIVE TO CIZER WHAT BELONGS TO CIZER! AS…

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  11. Tell these manguams. Its too much. They think just because they are in power, they own Zambia, they have the preserve of intelligent when their party is full of bakaponya calling the shorts. What do you expect from these lumpens, chaffs and arrogant s….. This country belongs to all Zambians, mwembwame.

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  12. If this is from the church mother bodies, then these bodies should disband. Too much hatred in this one sided letter. This is very shameful coming from the church. What an embarrassment to the christian folk. Clearly you can read into this that they are UPND sympathizers,,,, nothing wrong with that but a total mockery of the cross. They should have just said that in their individual capacities instead of dragging the church into their battles.

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  13. God has spoken through our church leaders who fear no one but God and speak for the weak, the poor who are oppressed by the political leaders who should in fact be protecting them. If indeed Zambia is a christian nation led by a PF God fearing leader, I expect Zambians and the PF leadership acting in respect of this timely and valuable advice. However, Knowing that PF leadership only uses the Church for political expedience, they will curse the church on this one and be CURSED. That should not surprise most of us as we know them as shameless hypocrits and WOLVES hiding under a religious sheep skin. God bless the church, God bless Zambia.

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  14. This is the role of the church. I am a bit sad that they have spoken a bit late. Better late than never. The PF Government want to go to ‘bed’ with the church in name of prayer meetings, prayer house, ministry of religion etc and making it voiceless. At least there are some prophets that have not lost conscious in Zambia. To me this is what it is to be a men or women of God address injustice regardless of who is in power. God bless the mother bodies. Amen

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  15. these mother bodies like someone has commented have a serious inclination to theopposition party the media was supporting, which does not mean that when something is wrongly done, that should continue even if you were once helped in the same wrong way two wrongs can not make a right. if Pf was helped through Muvi and Post propaganda and that help has a grain of danger to the nation when you realize you can not continue in the risk pathway you have to do the right thing especially when you grow up and mature to know the wrong and the right. the news Post and Muvi were release to the nation was provocative, inciting, and facilitate fight, to the carders and the top leadership even to the common man in Namwala and Soweto markert in Lusaka Muvi and post news was causing stress, anxiety,…

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  16. These views by the so called Church mother bodies are personal, hollow and misleading. Iam catholic and I don’t support Mpundu’s thinking that he is speaking on behalf of the people. Let him speak as membe’s friend, period. Why bring yourself to these levels?

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  17. Well said Church mother bodies. You can see that those who think they can use the Church to champion their cause have started crying foul. To them the Church is there to sing praised for their master regardless of what they do. This time you are wrong. No comment of give Caesar what belongs to Causer is going to stop the three mother bodies from speaking the truth. So you expected them to say G.R.Z. job well done for muzzling the press and closing the three media institutions. If people tell you the truth them they love you and respond with love. There is no time for flattery and hero worshiping people blindly. We need Church leaders like John the Baptist who was able to condemn the King for grabbing his brother’s wife even if he had to face a jail sentence and eventually death.

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  18. The letter is clearly showing of supporting UPND, why are you not condemning the advert which was put in the Post Newspaper where HH was like directing Concourt what to do? one of these church leaders he is purely UPND supporter.

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  19. We have fallen so low as a country. We are unable to accept wise counsel anymore. Instead, all we see is partisan politics. My people, let us change. This stubborness should be discarded, otherwise we risk losing our status as God’s children. When that happens, the devil shall have his way in our land. Money, gifts, contracts, jobs etc must not take away our God given ability to distinguish between right and wrong. We are one people, we always have been as such. Woe to the man who is being paid to call a spade, a spoon ( while the same spade is being used to dig the graves of his children)

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  20. Let your son or daughter be killed all in the name of free speech will you understand. Rwanda is perfect example of country that has a dark history caused by the so called free speech.

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  21. Here in Africa we are not yet civilized to let loose media houses to go on a self-destruction trail by inciting people to rebel just because of load shedding or because we are building roads here and there. We all know what filth comes from the post and recently from muvitv, please let’s not bury our heads in the sand. Slowly slowly here in Zambia people are becoming satanic in their thinking, deeds and speeches and before we know it we will be goring each other’s bowels and we will no longer comfortably be sitting on our butts but constantly looking for a place to hide. So be careful what you say you priests of Hades.

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    • God help our country,so according to you those in govnt can go around telling lies about development countrywide when the truth is that most of the money is getting stolen.How does a working govnt allow a contractor work on 60km of road for 5yrs,kitwe/ndola road.Failures in their personal lives cant perform because we are foolish to put them in govnt.

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  22. Church bodies cited in the passage above should have also talked about what happened in Southern Province just after elections. MUVI TV has been closed because at the time when the political atmosphere was tense the station was airing stories that could prove the tempers of some sections of society. That in self warranted the closure of the station. However, the station can be reopened based on how the institution that closed the station will weigh the situation. Let us get a leaf from Rwanda how the massacre erupted! The Church mother bodies should also play a pivotal role is cooling down the situation than just condemning the move government takes because if for anything the same people will be the first to blame government. I therefore urge the three church mother bodies to be…

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