President Edgar Lungu says government will continue looking to the Church for spiritual and moral guidance as well as other issues of national development.
The President has also reiterated that government will continue to work with the Church in efforts aimed at uplifting the welfare of the country and the political landscape by making sure that peace is upheld in the nation.
The Head of State was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he graced the 20th Anniversary celebration for the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA).
President Lungu further urged the Church to remain united and make sure that they pray for the nation against violence especially that the nation is heading to the general elections.
“Pray for harmony and brotherhood in the nation and condemn violence. We need peace and unity before, during and after elections. Those who are perpetrators of violence do not belong to me. I despise violence and will always side for peace,” said the Head of State.
President Lungu has also advised the Zambian citizenry against engaging themselves in fighting back when provoked saying that the best thing to do is to involve the police and allow them to take charge of the matter.
“If you are provoked call for the police. Do not fight back. When someone provokes you on anything don’t say I will fight back, no, call out for the police,” he advised.
And the President has called on the Church to help government fight issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV), child marriages and corruption.
“Helps us to fight corruption in the country. It’s astonishing that the people who have destroyed the economy are the ones singing about corruption. Let us revisit the approach to corruption fight. Tell us where we went wrong, if its institutions failing us, lets inform them, if it’s the people, let’s educate them,” he stated.
The President also urged the clergy, women and the youth within the Church to come up with multipurpose cooperatives to benefit from the Churches Empowerment Initiative that was recently launched.
He observed that Christians are part of the Zambian citizenry who should also benefit from the governments empowerment programmes.
“Christians cannot sit back and look at others benefiting. They need to come on board and equally benefit from the empowerment programmes. Just as they are members of the Church, they are also members of the country,” said President Lungu.
The Head of State also observed that the COVDI-19 pandemic has not spared the places of worship and urged the Church not to relent in following the health guidelines.
“The Church have not been spared for COVID-19. It is imperative that you take advantage of the health guidelines that have been given by the Ministry of Health,” he urged.
Meanwhile, President Lungu noted that government recognises the many developmental programmes that the Bible Gospel Church in Africa have implemented in the country aimed at improving the livelihood of the people.
“Let me express my gratitude for the developmental projects you have implemented for improved wellbeing of the people among them being installation of boreholes that have enabled people in rural areas to have access to clean water as well as a health post in Nyimba district in Eastern province. And I urge you to continue so that other Churches can emulate you,” the President said.
And BIGOCA Overseer Archbishop Peter Ndhlovu said his Church will continue to work with the government of the day and will also continue providing checks and balances as well as guidance where needed.
Archbishop Ndhlovu who thanked President Lungu for gracing the 20th anniversary celebrations for his Church noted that the celebrations shows how faithful God has been to the Church.
He further expressed gratitude to the Head of State for not closing the Church during this time of the second wave of the COVID-19.