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.