Independent Churches of Zambia President Bishop David Masupa has advised the church not to comment on political arrest before getting more information and establishing the main reasons that led to the arrest.
Bishop Masupa explained that there are oversight institutions that go by the statutes of the country and have been given a mandate through Parliament to act arbitrary independent, thus the church cannot make comments on most of these cases because the background for example of how those arrests were being conducted needs to be established, adding that the church commenting on certain arrests and issues without first gathering more information, will mean that they are commenting ignorantly.
He questioned as to why trials do not commence if indeed these arrests are really genuine and are not politically inclined, adding that if it is perceived by the members of the public that these arrests are politically motivated, then they should be able to come forward and produce evidence and bring forth witnesses to back up their claims.
“The Police are to blame for not doing their homework, and the Anti-Corruption Commission should probably before these arrests are instituted they should be ready to secure a conviction,” he said
“The church can’t just comment each time a person is arrested because institutions that conduct these arrests have constitutional mandates to arrest people where they suspect a crime to have been committed,” he added
Speaking in a interview on Millennium TV, Bishop Masupa mentioned that the role of the clergy is to promote good democratic governance by preaching about fairness in the dealing of these cases, and ensure that the government is urged that when a crime has been committed, then the law should be blind at that particular time, as it doesn’t matter in which period that crime has been committed.
“It would be very hypocritical if there is an invisible hand that is behind these arrests, but the church will always stand neutral and we will always be able to condemn that kind of a move, as the church would not be in the right position if they continue acting based on rumours,” he noted
He added that any person who feels that they have been wrongly arrested, they have the right to sue the government thus, being compensated.
Bishop Masupa stated that the things that should be talked about are, why trials are not taking place to its fullest, where in most cases Judges and Magistrates state that they will dismiss cases if one is not ready to commence with them, adding that the church in this situation the church blames the oversight institutions such as ACC, and the DEC or not preparing themselves for these trials and this should stop them from conducting premature arrests.
He noted that the church has played a significant role in ensuring that there is political, social, and economic order in Zambia, as it is a christian spiritual institution that has had a say in the public affairs of the zambians and their voice to date is still active.
“It is perceived in this nation that if the church don’t criticise the government and agigate for civil strife or influence a social disorder especially when the government is ill performing at a particular time, then the church has gone to sleep and not playing its cardinal role,” he said
Bishop Masupa explained that the monumental role of the church is to ensure that it gives prophetic and spiritual guidance pressing on the good moral values of the Bible, as the preamble of the constitution which is the fundamental law of the country has stipulated that Zambia is a christain nation, and this is the more reason why the church should come in at every given time to provide checks and balances as to whether the governance system at that particular time is in line with Article 8 which talks about national principles and values of the country.