EXPRESSING SURPRISE THAT DESPITE DIRECTIVES BY THE VICE PRESIDENT, CERTAIN PRO-CSE WORKING GROUPS ARE ENGAGING SELECTED STAKEHOLDERS ON SRH&R AND CSE.
11TH OCTOBER, 2020 – (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)
We wish to express deep concern that despite the directive given by Her Honour the Vice President, Hon. Inonge Wina, MP, that a multi-sectoral technical working group will be set up to consult on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), promoters of this programme have heightened engagement with selected stakeholders such as Members of Parliament.
We have noted that two urgent consultative programmes have been set up at the National Assembly on both the subject of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&R) and Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) just in the space of the next two weeks. We are in receipt of an invitation letter dated 9th October and a programme indicating that a 20 minute presentation on CSE Experiences is expected from the EFZ at a meeting to be held on 12th October, 2020.
While we appreciate the invitation to one of the two events in reference, our concern is that these heightened efforts by promoters of these programmes go a long way to undermine the mechanism currently in motion, set up by Government to review and attend to concerns in an objective manner, on matters raised against these two programmes by stakeholders.
We earnestly appeal to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mrs. Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe to halt these processes being thrust on Parliament until the announced Government led consultative process is completed. A letter has been written to this effect.
We are also of the strong view that engaging Parliament at this stage may be premature as we wish that stakeholders, parents and other key actors complete the consultative process of scrutinising and reviewing SRH&R and CSE.
We also hope that the Report and Outcome documents from the consultative mechanism will be taken to Cabinet for approval and later to Parliament for adoption.
We hold the view that the two programmes are extremely fundamental to the moral, spiritual, character and cultural life of Zambia that the outcome document from such a national consultative process, should be accorded the highest approval levels by the organs of the State that should necessarily include the Executive and Parliament.
We also wish to make an appeal to promoters of these two programmes to respect the concerns raised by other stakeholders and to exercise patience and restraint in the roll out of the programmes in question until such a time that sufficient consensus has been obtained.
May God bless our great nation, especially as we commence this sacred week of nation-wide prayers in the wake of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation which falls on 18th October, 2020.
STATEMENT BY THE BOARD CHAIRPERSON OF THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF ZAMBIA (EFZ) – BISHOP PAUL E. MUSUSU