FILE: Bible Gospel Church in Africa overseer Bishop Peter Ndlhovu talks to Commerce Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Miles Sampa during Senior Citizens Sunday in Matero Township in Lusaka yesterday
THE church has condemned the proposal by the Lusaka City Council Mayor, Wilson Kalumba that residents of Lusaka should consider cremation as a mode of disposing off the dead.

And National Restoration Party (NAREP) secretary general Ezra Ngulube has argued that the local authorities could not run out of land for graves when there was enough land for cadres to share.

Mr Ngulube said lack of proper land management by the local authorities had led to the reported lack of land in the city.

He challenged the Mayor to lead by example and have one of his relatives cremated.

“Burning bodies is not part of our tradition. In fact, this issue of burning will only affect the poor as those calling for it have the money to take their relatives to expensive burial sites and pay. We, therefore, challenge the Mayor to lead by example and cremate his own relative for us to follow,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Lusaka Mayor Potipher Tembo said cremation should be the last resort in disposing of the dead.

Mr. Tembo said the council chairman should consider other options such as talking to nearby traditional leaders to have access to some customary land for burial space.

He said during his reign, the council had written to late president Michael Sata on the need for the Government to intervene and secure burial space for the city.

Mr. Tembo observed that the challenge of burial space was real but that the status of Zambia being a Christian nation did not support that mode of disposal.

He said the challenge with most political offices was that there was no formal hand over.

“In politics, we do not have formal handovers and this is what leads to leaders having challenges in building from previous ideas,” he said.

He said cremation was untraditional and unchristian, adding that introducing the practice could be misinterpreted as a pagan practice.

“Zambian’s are naturally superstitious and if we start burning the dead, there will be a lot of speculation on the people that do that and this could even be linked to Satanism,” he said.

And the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) overseer, Peter Ndhlovu said the cremation of bodies was unchristian, adding that when Jesus died, he was buried and rose again.

He said it is the belief among Christians that when they die, they would rise at the return of Jesus.

“We cannot embrace cremation as Christians because it is against the whole belief of the Christian faith. We believe we shall rise from the dead and this can only be done when somebody is buried,” he said.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Christian fyono untraditional fyono fonyo…..

    You used to cleanse a widow by having her sleep with male relatives, you used to dispose of all belongings of a relative leaving the widow and children with nothing….things have changed move into the 21 centuary

    you are Christian? The owners of Christianity are practicing cremation to save land…. and you want to be more Christian then the owners…..

    Indeed this will take political will and sanitaisation of the people by leadership. But this lungu is uncapable of making decisions.

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    • I don’t see why this should involve the church or state. This is an individual decision. Stay out of peoples lives. I personally have not faith in church leadership. They sin too much to be moral leaders. You know the church used to think the world was flat? if they had divine information how could they get so wrong? You know there are trillions of planets in the universe? Just saying people.

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    • Some things need leader ship guidance and this is one of those thing….if the leadership thinks there is enough land to bury people so be it but if they think we are running out of valuable space then they should offer direction….

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    • Whoever is supporting nonsense of burning bodies should show us how to do it by setting his father on fire!
      These PF enjoy fires, they think they have enough tires to use on funerals.

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    • Maybe the Mayor or his friend\relative wants to run a crematorium and make some good cash out of it…

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  2. Let him use another excuse for rejecting cremation, and not Christianity. I have read the Bible well, it’s not prohibited

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  3. What kind of Christians do we have today? They seem to love the dead more than the living. The ministry of service to fellow man is but dead. I have witnessed situations where the church has denied many souls monetary help for life-saving medical treatment and yet at funerals, they spend more than what was needed to save this very life. The truth is the dead are dead, dust to dust. Whether you bury or burn makes no difference. Are we trying to suggest that God will have trouble resurrecting the millions of cremated bodies (not souls)? What is impossible with man is possible with God!

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    • @ Real Request,
      It is not about church but our norms and customs. If you mother or father died, would you love to be Burnt to ashes?

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    • When our loved ones are dead, they cease to be living souls! In Genesis we are told what makes a soul = body and spirit. When one dies, they give up the gost and the lifeless body suffers corruption. In like manner as we allow the dead bodies of our loved ones to be eaten by in the grave, there is no difference if they are cremated. The cremation of course is done in a dignified manner. So yes I want my dead body to be cremated when I am gone.

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  4. 90 % of graves are effectively abandoned after burial….with relatives too poor or living too far to attend.
    In the meantime valuable land is being used for abandoned graves while the PF kaponyas fight over land and families are forced into squatter compounds because of lack of land…..

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  5. Best solution is to gather bones of the very very old graves into one single grave and start afresh…its done in the night wen there r no witnesses to aboid supperstition. Its done allover the world people!!

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  6. THIS IS WHY LUNGU APPOINTED MINISTRY OF RELIGION SO AS TO BRING OTHER RELIGIONS AND BELIEFS THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULTY TO UNDERSTAND. ONE THING PEOPLE MUST PUT IN MIND IS THAT WE ARE ZAMBIANS WHETHER NOT CHRISTIANS OR CHRISTIANS, OUR FOREFATHERS USED TO BURY THE DEAD AND NOT CREMATION AS WE SEE HINDUS DO. SECONDLY, WE ARE CHRISTIANS, EVEN HEBREWS AND JEWS WHERE OUR ROOTS OF CHRISTIANITY COMES FROM DO NOT BURN OR CREMATE BUT BURY. IN FACT THAT IS WHY WHEN EVER THEY SHIFTED FROM ONE PACE TO ANOTHER, THEY CARRIED THE BONES OF THEIR RELATIVES.
    THIRD WE SHALL NEVER HAVE CHANGEABLE HISTORY. SCIENCE HAS DISCOVERED A LOT OF GREAT MEN AND WOMEN TO DAY AND OTHER EXITING BURIAL SITES DUE TO THE REMAINS OF OUR FOREFATHERS. PROCONSUL, BROKEN-HILL MAN AND OTHERS ARE DUE TO THE FINDING OF WHERE OUR ROOT…

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  7. Comment: We voted for a wrong person as mayor of Lusaka who is out of touch with our culture. I wish Fisho Mwale had won the position. This is the problem of voting for a party instead of a person.

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  8. This is a practical issue. Its the haphazard town planning and all the anarchic sharing of land all over the place that has made it appear as if there is a shortage of land for burials. Encouraging cremation in itself is not a bad idea, but it is not true that we have run out of land. We have run out of control!
    In spite of the very well known corrupt land practices, I still think people should be allowed a choice of whether to cremate or bury. This has nothing to do with the ‘claim’ that Zambia is a Christian country. Why should church leaders decide for everyone else by saying its nontraditional or unchristian to cremate? Find the land in this maze of a PF mess, but allow the cremation choice. Don’t use the christian excuse. Zambia is essentially a pagan country in practice!

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  9. Let us try this cremation on lungu. Burn the rat Alive so that we see what his family will feel. It is not our tradition to burn bodies. Because pf has failed to plan and develop all areas of this huge country they want us to burn people. You dogs. .will burn you as I know you are all dying soon

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  10. Traditions where created and maintained because they served an important role in society or because there was no better alternative. When traditions meet, a thinking person must assess the options with an open mind and choose one with more advantages under the circumstances. It is unwise to just do something for no other reason than that my grandfather did it this way or to reject a new idea because that’s not how my father did it. Yes, cremation sounds strange but so did our beloved gospel some 100 years ago. Don’t comment anyhow, be critical regardless of which religion or political party. Personally, I think cremation should be explained clearly and demystified so that it remains an option to leaving corpses to rot and be eaten by rats and maggots.

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  11. The Bible says ‘dust to dust, ashes to ashes’ Why do you think it says ‘dust to dust’ ? Developed nationas have made good use of their land by cremating. Kwati muka bwela !

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    • And the caption says it happened yesterday. Miles is back!
      : Bible Gospel Church in Africa overseer Bishop Peter Ndlhovu talks to Commerce Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Miles Sampa during Senior Citizens Sunday in Matero Township in Lusaka yesterday

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  12. Like someone above has said, this should be a personal decision. If I instruct my relatives as how to dispose of my body, it should not the business of anybody, church or state.

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  13. Leaders lead1 But to lead one must be intelligent and educated. Introduction of new ideas needs STRATEGY. Do you think that the Mayor or the so-called leadership know what strategy is? They attend hundreds of STRATEGY workshops to collect allowances and not to learn what STRATEGY is. Shame.
    The issue is that in urban areas, thousands of hactares of land is being committed to burials against the competing demands for settlements and industry. There are thousands of ideas. Cremation is only one of the good ones. Tombing is the other, whereby members of a social group are interred in one grave.

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  14. Very dull argument by the so called church leaders, is anything impossible with God? Is God going to resurrect the same body that you take to the Grave? What about those who have been eaten by beasts or swallowed by sea beasts or crushed into powder?, do they think God will fail to raise them up? Ubukopo nabo tabukonkonsha.

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  15. In the story above there is no church condemning cremation. Just read it. May I also ask who is the church? Is it anyone Inside a church?

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