First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda and the current head of State Edgar Lungu led the rest of the country in the 25th commemoration of the country’s declaration as a Christian Nation by second Republican President Fredrick Chiluba shortly after he was elected as President.
Among those in attendance at the Mulungushi International Conference centre was former first lady Vera Chiluba who could not hold herself and shed tears when the video of her late former was played.
Speaking when she officiated at the Silva jubilee celebrations of Zambia’s declaration as a Christian nation, Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Rev.Godfridah Sumaili said that after 25 years since late former President Fredrick Chiluba made the declaration and entered into covenant with God on behalf of the people of Zambia.
She said Dr Chiluba’s declaration gave Zambia an identity and that everyone knows who they were.
“Our identity is established in the Lord Jesus Christ. The values, principles and ethics which we embrace as a people reflect the person of Jesus Christ.
“Love, dignity, integrity, honest, hard work, patriotism among others are the hallmark of who we are as a people,” she said.
Rev Sumaili paid tribute to President Lungu for making board decisions to concretise the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.
She cited the decision by President Lungu to declare every October 18th as a day of national prayers, imitating the construction of the house of national prayer for all denominations the national alter of prayer and establishment of the ministry of national guidance and
“The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation is enshrined in preamble of the Zambian constitution and the values, principles and ethics are also in the constitution. The ministry of national guidance and religious affairs had been established among other purposes to facilitate the actualisation of the declaration into practical and workable realistic interventions.”
She said the ministry would provide regulatory policy and legal framework on matters patterning to Zambia’s national Christian heritage.
Rev Sumaili said it would provide guidance on values, principles, and ethics and promote national unit and establish platform for dialogue and collaboration between the state and the church.
And speaking during his welcome remarks Vice Chairperson for the House of Prayers Reverend Pukuta Mwanza said the day reminds the country of the main great strides which it has been taken since the late former President Fredrick Chiluba committed the country into a covenant and declared Zambia as a Christian Nation.
He said the country has seen an increased participation of Christians in various sectors of life both politically and economy.
He noted that the country has made peaceful transition both politically and economically because God has watched over the country.
Rev Mwanza also said the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation has become a reference point for people’s social behavior in society.
And Lusaka Province Minister Jaffen Mwakalombe said President Lungu and his government recognizes the importance of the day which has provided a platform for political coexistence.
He also said government considers the church as an important partner in development agenda of the country.