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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Christian Nation Debate at National Dialogue Forum

Columns The Christian Nation Debate at National Dialogue Forum

The official Opening of the National Dialogue by President Lungu
The official Opening of the National Dialogue by President Lungu

By Dokowe Patriot

It is regrettably sad that the delegates at the ongoing National Dialogue Forum have chosen to extend and waste quality resources and time on a petty issue like the Christian Nation Clause that deserves no amendment because it’s a non contentious issue and the NDF was formed to work on the lacunas not create new one.

The proposed amendments are in the preamble and article 8 of the Republican Constitution;

They want to KEEP this:

‘DECLARE the Republic a Christian Nation while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion;’ and this Subsection 3 of Article 4: ‘The Republic is a unitary, indivisible, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-party democratic State’.

But AMEND this:

‘RECOGNISE AND UPHOLD the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our Nation and our right to manage our affairs and resources sustainably in a devolved system of governance;’

to something like this:

RECOGNISE AND UPHOLD the multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-cultural character of our Nation and our right to manage our affairs and resources sustainably in a devolved system of governance;

and then EMBED this:

‘Zambia is a Multi-racial Christian Nation’

to Article 8.

Article 8 of our Constitution which is under NATIONAL VALUES, PRINCIPLES and ECONOMIC POLICIES reads:

‘The National values and principles are -a. morality and ethics; b. patriotism and national unity; c. democracy and constitutionalism; d. human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination; e. good governance and integrity; and f. sustainable development.’

I fail to understand how Zambia is a multi-racial Christian nation should come in or were it applies to the National Values, Principles and Economic Policies of Zambia. By adding this and leaving parts highlighted above would create a lacuna.

In as much as Zambia was declared a Christian Nation by FTJ, the constitution guaranteed protection and equal rights to everyone and anyone regardless of their religious affiliation because the constitution contained this important clause ‘The Republic is a unitary, indivisible, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-party democratic State’ and this in the preamble ‘RECOGNISE AND UPHOLD the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our Nation and our right to manage our affairs and resources sustainably in a devolved system of governance’. These two clauses atleast recognize that Zambia is a multi-religious country and it is the principle through which it was founded upon.

While most people may think that a democracy is about the majority’s wishes it is not and at no point has democracy ever been about majority rule. Imagine this: if a majority of parliamentarians one day decided that women should be deprived of their right to vote and to work, and all voted in favour would that be democratic? Of course not, because the point of democracy is about protection of the minorities, the non entities-those whose opinion seems to not matter or the voiceless. Majoritarianism (tyranny of the majority) is what is happening at NDF and not democracy, for if it was democratic the NDF delegates would have resolved to make Zambia a state with no preferred or official religion even though there would still be bias treatment of religions. An example of majoritarianism in Zambia is when under KK the One Party State in 1972 was created, the architects felt they were bound by some patriotic duty.

How they unanimously agreed to exclusively maintain the Christian Nation Declaration Clause in the Preamble, how they resolved to have the subsidiary multi-religious nomenclature in the preamble of the constitution be deleted and embed the Zambia is a multi-racial Christian nation is questionable. According to the National Dialogue (Constitution, Electoral Process, Public Order and Political Parties) bill, 2019, the forum consists of among others 2 representatives each from the:- Islamic Council of Zambia and Islamic Supreme Council of Zambia. How in the world would members of a different religion say yes to the agreed amendments that are segregative? No way, unless they have no representation at NDF. Zambia is not a nation of Christians alone but of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. Any group of people, law or document that says Zambia is a ‘Christian’ Nation is not only wrong but selfish and foolish. Why should a national document that promises and guarantees the equal right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion favour or promote one religion over others? Isn’t this inconsistency? Why can’t we have a religious neutral constitution?

The amendment of the current Christian nation clause will only make Zambia a more theocratic nation with a bias towards Christianity. The Preamble which is not law is being used to by some of those in the Christian community to discriminate against those belonging to different religions, and the non-religious. To what effect this will compound will be upon the mercy of individual Zambian Christians, just as it currently is, and upon the mercy of another no one should depend.

Should the proposed Christian nation amendment to the preamble see the light of day, it will justify holding those of different religions and the non religious in high contempt.

In conclusion I know the preamble isn’t law and I would careless if it was changed but embedding the ‘Zambia id Multi-racial Christian Nation’ clause wherever and however in Article 8 will have repercussions that may necessitate the amendment of the constitution any time from now. As a Zambian, it’s my legal right and duty to defend the constitution against anyone or group of people who wish to amend laws that are of a selfish nature. This article is no way meant to undermine the National Dialogue Forum.

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  1. Bo Inonge looks way ready for retirement, bringing memories of Sata. Let this woman rest and than be forced to die on duty. This forum is a big shame and an embarrassment, mistaken priorities by ECL, there more serious issues to be holding forums for than trying to change our constitution. Lungu like he is not a lawyer, he is going to sign this thing then, later on, discover it’s faulty then he will call for another referendum. These are things you don’t rush, take your time and incorporate everyone’s ideas before you rush to sign it.

    • Beg to disagree. The Christian Nation clause is discriminatory and is a sad reflection of religious intolerance and wanting fanatism. It has opened the flood Gates of hell with demons taking charge of fake pastors / men of god performing demon-powered miracles so that the gullible and vunerable are duped.

      Jesus said “you shall now them by their works” not their declarations. A thorn bush declaring that it is an apple tree, does not make it so.

    • Wanton fanatism, sorry. Zambian so called Christians will become the worst prosecutors and betrayers of Sabbath keepers when the Sunday law is passed. Watch videos of Ron Wyatt on YouTube if you think I am lying.

    • @ Lynch mob misleader the so called sunday law will never happen. These were illusions of the Ellen G White, the fake prophetess of doom for the SDAs, Keep Christ and wait for him on the Lords Day.

    • It’s surprising how Zambia can claim to be Christian nationan and yet political leaders like HH now require a polive permit to attend church services. How evil can Lungu and PF be?

      PF all the benefits of independence have been eroded completely.

      If the colonial masters implemented POA like PF is doing now Zambia would have taken even longer to be independent.

      PF is now the worst regime to have ruled Zambia. Even Welensky’s colonial regime is now by far better than this PF madness at play.

      Zambians need to go back to the drawing board and map out a strategy to fight for total freedom from the PF devils.

      Lungu must go!

    • @ Observer, you do not know the scripture and even less the manner of spirit that you speak after.

      In the days of Noah, it was argued that a flood was not possible because it had never rained, the antedevulian world was watered by a mist, not rain. The union of ecclesiatical or church institutions with the state or political machinery is the “image of the beast”. Things may look Rosey now, but human beings deprived of the restraining Spirit of God are capable of unspeakable cruelty towards fellow humans. You have been warned.

  2. The Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation by FTJ was unconstitutional, being contrary to the Universal Bill of rights! It should have been challenged immediately it was promulgated! Favoring one religion over another is a recipe for strife! No wonder we are still going round in circles!
    The motive of the declaration is clear now – it was meant to be a Smokescreen to hide FTJ’s matrix of Massive Corruption and to brainwash poor Zambians who fell for it!
    ECL has perfected this master piece of brainwashing the masses through deception by hiding his Ubomba Mwibala corruption behind another unconstitutional declaration – October 18! He went on to come up with a house of prayer where it is reported K5 Million was embezzled in the name of one borehole! What has become of that Tower of…

  3. Whoever is trying to change the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation shall receive the wrath of God, in the name of Jesus Christ!

    • Really? Oh Lord. Calling a nation Christian does not make it so; it was a political move by a politician who was more interested in pilfering millions from the country’s coffers. What matters are actions (‘…faith without works is dead…’). And preserving the rights and protections for all citizens, regardless of religious affiliation or even no religion at all.

    • FTJ who put it there was far from being a christian. He stole money from the Zambia people and he took someones legally married wife.
      He was afflicted with disease just like the plagues of Egypt.

    • Your God is such a let down. He responds to nebulous and infantile calls but he turns a blind eye and deaf ears to the suffering people of this world!

      Remember the slave trade and subsequent enslavement that lasted centuries, the incineration of Jews in Germany, the killings in Darfur, the Rwanda genocide, the SAn apartheid, the Sharpville massacre, the ongoing atrocities in the Congo, the plight of people of Chibolya compound, etc. God alicete. Bullsh!t

    • Why would God possess wrath? Robbing the devil of his natural attribute? Man created immortals always confuse their followers

  4. Why arguing on comments…?

    SDA will not support Zambia to be a Christian Nation by law (constitution) because of the SUNDAY LAW BELIEF.

    Same as SUNDAY WORSHIPERS will never believe that Saturday is the sacred day for Jews and Hebrew descendants.


  5. There is nothing wrong with the christian nation declaration clause as it is in the current constitution.
    There are some countries in the world which are purely Islamic republics and do not even tolerate building of christian churches in their countries.
    We only hope that no persons have corruptly received money to blindly champion the growth and dominance of lslam in our christian nation.

    Take a look around you and see the sudden mushrooming of mosques in many neighbourhoods especialy lusaka and some rural areas.
    Whereas churches struggle to build their buildings , on the contrary, the mosques in this country are being built at breakneck speed meaning that their is serious funding from those that have an agenda to grow this religion .
    Just like Saudi Arabia, lran,Emirates…

    • So you want to make us as undemocratic as those Islamic countries? Do you say my neighbor’s kids have no freedom so mine too shouldn’t?

    • There is every thing wrong with the declaration. Even God wouldn’t agree with the declaration because people are supposed to be free to make their choice as your Bible itself states. God won’t judge people forced to obey him

  6. Why spend three more days to debate Zambia as a christian nation when the Patriotic Front government looks down and disrespects the Three Church mother bodies?

  7. Ubupuba mu Zambia, why commenting on issues you don’t understand very well? I beg you to stop all this nonsense Zambian and concentrate to something productive, stop wasting your time.
    Imwee mwebambi you’re just tu kawawaya chabe. You want someone to change things in this country when you personally you have done literally nothing nonsense!

  8. After the so called forum is done and when we finally will look back at what it achieved, are we going to have justifiable reasons of having this forum in the first place? or are we going to feel ashamed of ever having it?

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