President Lungu says neglecting the church, is neglecting Zambians because of the role the church plays in collaboration with the government to improve people’s lives.
Speaking when he held a meeting with members of the clergy in Chifunabili district of Luapula province, President Lungu noted that the church is an integral part of the governance system.
He said it is therefore important that the clergy whose input facilitates for good policies be part of the process and asked for their support in promoting the wellbeing of the people.
President Lungu said the PF has prioritized the issue of advancing the status of Zambia being a Christian nation and that it is why it saw it necessary to create a dedicated ministry to oversee religious affairs and to construct a national house of prayer among others.
“That is why I appreciate your role as a church because, through you, we are able to know and appreciate the needs of the community, through you, we are able to walk with the community” President Lungu noted.
“That’s why I encourage you to speak out and even as we come to canvass for votes, ask us what our position is regarding the church in Zambia, ask us were we stand on issues of GBV, ask us on why Zambia should not be called a Christian country, ask us what was wrong in bill 10 of declaring Zambia as a Christian nation, ask us what was wrong in including the differently-abled and the youth in our governance system,” President Lungu said.
The head of state assured the clergymen that he is alive to issues that affect successful evangelism such as illiteracy, gender-based violence, and lack of conducive infrastructure but promised to collaborate with the church to address them.
“It is difficult for you as the church to talk to people if they are illiterate. It is the same with farming, you need to be literate to be a good farmer because you will need to have knowledge on how and when to apply fertilizer” President Lungu said.
The President also took the opportunity to introduce PF Chifunabuli aspiring Member of parliament Ms. Jullen Nyemba to the clergy and asked her, being an educationist, to take issues of illiteracy seriously in order for the district to promote high literacy levels.
He said Chifunabili being a recently created new district, requires teamwork and dedication from all stakeholders to improve its status.
And President Lungu has challenged other politicians to speak against political violence and emulate his solo voice that has consistently been advocating against violence.
The head of state assured the clergy that he will continue working with them as much as he has done in order to maintain a stable government-church relationship.
And Chifunabuli District Pastors Fellowship chairperson Dominic Mubanga thanked President Lungu for being a passionate leader whose works are visible to see in various sectors such as infrastructure.
He said the church will be praying for the head of state even as he continues to lead the country.