Copperbelt Province Minister Elisha Matambo has challenged the Church and its leaders to rebuke the UPND Government when it goes astray.
Speaking as guest of honour during an interacting meeting with the Ndola District Clergy on Thursday, Mr. Matambo said the Church should not hesitate to correct and counsel the Government.
He said the New Government is willing to listen to the Church.
Mr. Matambo said in the past the Church was afraid to speak out as it feared cadres during the Patriotic Front regime.
“The Church should be there taking the role of preaching to us. Helping us spiritually and also controlling us where we go astray. We don’t want to wait until we clash then you come in. We want if you see us going astray you quickly come in and control us. We also don’t want to be chumbu munsholowa; we want to listen to what the Church is saying. The servant of God talked about cadrelism also affected the Church,” Mr. Matambo said.
“They were some instances when servants of God were failing to speak to us for fear of victimization from cadres. We don’t want that to happen again. The clergy is there to correct us if this is A they should tell us this is A and not B. We don’t want cadres to come and protest at the church to come and intimidate you. I think this is what we want to achieve as the new dawn Government administration,” he said.
Mr. Matambo observed that some years back the Church had a stronger voice.
“In the days behind us when the Church spoke, the Government listened not only in Zambia but in other countries. This is how important the Church is.The Bible says seek thy Kingdom first and other things should be added unto you. So the first thing we should do as the New Dawn administration is to seek his face then these other things will follow. If we don’t we will be chasing the wind because man can go to a certain level and the rest is done by the Lord himself the Ancient of days. So the first thing I should have done when I was appointed was to meet you, the servant of God before I go on with my mission as Minister of this province but I couldn’t do that because of the schedule I had at Parliament. So now that we have closed parliament I thought that it was important that I meet the servant of God so that we can engage each other,” Mr. Matambo added.
He said President Hakainde Hichilema anchors his leadership on the principles of the word of God.
“One of the things His Excellency wants to do, who is also a Church elder at Seventh Day Adventist is to run the New Dawn Government on the principles of the word of God; this is why you have seen most of his pronouncements are in that line. Hence the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation like he has said will remain so as long as President Hakainde Hichilema is President of the Republic of Zambia. My belief at a personal level is that Zambia will remain a Christian nation until the Lord himself come and take us with him,” Mr. Matambo said.
Speaking on behalf of the Ndola District Clergy, Rev. Chilekwa Mulenga pledged that the Church in Ndola will work with the Government of the day.
“Our stance remains that we will be non-partisan but we will collaborate with the Government of the day regardless of the party in office. We thank the New Dawn administration for making it clear that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation will continue,” Rev. Mulenga said.
He also appealed to the Government to exempt the clergy from remitting Pay as You Earn Tax and Churches from paying commercial land rates.
Rev. Mulenga further urged land agencies to consider sparing land for Church building constructions when allocating land.
“Sir we appeal to you through the Lands Department and the local councils to see to it that Church plots are considered when allocating land in districts. When plots are being allocated how many are given to the Church,” he said.