Mr. Edgar Lungu would be my first witness to affirm that when he was elected President in 2015, I was the only major losing Presidential Candidate who attended his inauguration at Heroes Stadium which I attended with my wife and some senior MMD officials. This was in recognition that he had been democratically elected and as there was no petition against his election I felt morally and duty bound to stand with him.
This year we were against attending the day of prayer and fasting as it stands as a mockery to justice. Mr. Lungu’s Presidency is in dispute and as stipulated in the newly amended Constitution, which he himself willfully and expeditiously assented to, it gives any aggrieved party the right to petition the election before inauguration. Sadly, in a dramatic turn of events, the PF made desperate last minute manouvres to block the hearing of the petition which was the only constitutionally accepted avenue of determining the legitimacy of the 2016 election and also determine the rightful winner of the election.
The current attempts by the PF to use a prayer meeting to sanitize a stolen election will not be in the interest of either the nation or the Bible. Scripture is very clear when it deals with the sincerity and integrity of prayer. It says that,
“If you bring a gift before God (prayer) and you remember that someone has ought against you, leave your gift on the altar and seek to reconcile with that person and then come and give the offering (prayers).”
Instead of facing up to the opposition demands for the Petition to be heard, Mr. Lungu has chosen to be unreasonable and rule with an iron fist using police brutality and locking up his political opponents, shutting down free media to silence dissenting voices all deceitfully ‘covered by prayers and fasting’ and is not interested in reconciling with anyone or finding consensus on how to move the country forward.
The national prayers in their current form are more of an affront to the nation as they are meant to prop up an individual instead of honoring God and his word by seeking genuine reconciliation and resolution of the disputed election. As things stand, Mr. Lungu will have to deal with the ‘ghost’ of the disputed election and all its staggering illegalities and electoral malpractices which will surely trouble his conscience if he chooses to stubbornly pursue this path.
Unfortunately, some misguided PF surrogates have already started saying that now that the Prayers and Fasting have taken place, the opposition should accept Mr. Lungu as democratically elected and allow the nation to move on. This is an extremely troubling projectory for the PF to think that merely by holding the Day of Prayer and Fasting, the blatant violations of the Constitution and electoral irregularities experienced in the 2016 Election should just be ‘swept under the carpet’ and we all move on.
If we become so casual with such crucially fundamental governance issues as a country, what does the future hold for future elections? What then is the real value of the amended Constitution over which so much time and resources were spent? What kind of Zambia are we creating?
The only achievement of these prayers as unfortunately being shown by the above position is to bury all our heads in the sand and caress the egos of Mr. Lungu and a selected number of ‘palace’ pastors who are fighting for relevance and recognition in the eyes of man by wishing to legitimize an illegitimate president.
My history speaks for itself that if the right procedure is followed, the rule of law protected and a transparent process reveals that Mr. Lungu actually did win the election, I will be the first to congratulate him as the democratically elected president and accord him the honor due to him. But as it stands, we have a disputed election and no prayer meeting will fix or resolve that. Mr. Lungu needs to humble himself and ensure that the petition is heard.
Zambia shall be saved from religious deception.
Nevers Sekwila Mumba