Minister of National guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili has called on the church to be a beacon of peace ahead of the August 12th general elections.
Reverend Sumaili noted that as the country heads to the polls, it is during this period that a number of people aspiring for office try to maximize any opportunity given to attract more votes.
The Minister encouraged the church across the country to remain neutral by preaching the word of God adding that it should not be coerced in doing that which is un godly.
She was speaking at the 2021 Founder’s Day Celebration for the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) held at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal church in Chilenje.
Rev. Sumaili noted the role of the church in Zambia is to continue guiding the country in both good and hard times, thus should talk to their congregants especially the youths to refuse to be used as instruments of violence.
“I appeal to you to continue uniting the nation, praying for those in government and the opposition so that we can have a credible election free of political violence. Let us work together as the Body of Christ to ensure that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation is not polarized by vices such as political violence, tribalism, hate speech and other acts that only bring disunity in the nation,” she told the congregation.
The Minister commended African Methodist Episcopal Church for supplementing government’s efforts in attaining the sustainable goals on development number 4 and 5 which seeks to promote quality education and gender equality through humanitarian works.
She disclosed that the church was involved in a number of notable evangelism projects among which included helping the aged, sponsoring the less privileged, advocating for girl’s rights to education, among other works.
Rev. Sumaili reminded that the history of Zambia cannot be complete without mentioning the contribution that the church has made to the freedom fighters during the liberation struggle.
She stated that the church provided shelter, spiritual support and counsel and prayers for the freedom fighters.
She noted that government was aware of the challenges the church was experiencing due to COVID-19 hence encouraged them to take advantage of the Church, religious and faith based Organisations empowerment scheme.
Meanwhile, Ebenezer AME Pastor In-Charge Martin Chembo assured government of its support in both challenging and good times.
Noting that the country was going through uncertainties but that the church was not going to neglect government, Pastor Chembo encouraged government to put God first even as it devices stringent against calamities such as the outbreak of COVID-19 and effects of climate, should put God at the centre to intervene.
“I can assure you that all shall be well. These of COVID-19, climate change among other issues affecting our country shall come to pass. We will support and work with the government of the day,” Reverend Chama stated.
He noted that his church has made it a requirement for every eligible member to obtain a voter card and not limit them to participate in the upcoming general elections.