Government officials and church leaders have called for increased safety measures following a tragic accident in Chilubi, Zambia that claimed the lives of 14 Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) youths. The group was traveling on a banana boat from Kashitu area to Chishi Island when the boat capsized on Lake Bangweulu.
The Senga Hill Pastors Fellowship expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased and called on all Christians in the country to pray for them during this difficult time. “The accident involving the SDA youths on Lake Bangweulu is not only shocking but disturbing to the nation,” said Pastor Sunday Simpasa, Chairperson of the fellowship.
He also urged church leaders to prioritize the safety of their congregants when they travel to worship away from their congregations. “Let me also appeal to government to stiffen the law on transporters found drunk or overloaded to protect the lives of people,” he added.
Northern Province Permanent Secretary Bernard Mpundu echoed the call for increased safety measures, stating that the accident could have been avoided if all safety measures were taken into consideration by the church and the transporter. “It is sad that we have continued losing lives in such circumstances,” he said.
However, Mr. Mpundu did disclose that the government had released K70,000 to help the families who lost loved ones. “Apart from meeting all the funeral expenses, the government has released K70,000. Therefore, each family will be given K5,000 just to help them during this trying period,” he said.
Seventh Day Adventist Church Northern Zambia Union Conference Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Mwewa, thanked the government for their support during the tragedy. “It would have been difficult for the church to handle the situation without the full involvement of the government hence we will always remain grateful to the government for this gesture,” he said.
The tragedy has highlighted the need for safety measures to be put in place, not just for church members but for all Zambians. “My appeal to government and the grieving families is to kneel down and pray to God to see this country through this moment,” said Pastor Simpasa.
The loss of lives in accidents that could have been avoided is a concern for the Zambian government. “Government is concerned and deeply saddened that the country has continued losing lives of people in accidents that could be avoided,” said Mr. Mpundu.
As the country mourns the loss of the SDA youths, officials and religious leaders are calling for action to be taken to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
When Bishop Dennis De Jong noticed that various church groups were using funerals to commit sin, he banned them and instead assigned Ichitente in the location where a member had died to be in charge. This has up to now worked well and has reduced the incidence of marital disputes arising from funeral gatherings. It has now become an annual even for the SDAs to experience fatal accidents whenever they have such events that include Camp Meetings. It has therefore become incumbent upon the leaders of the church to look at whether there’s no alternative to fulfill their duties as worshipers other than these old age practices. The church hasn’t yet recovered from the Siavonga deaths. Things change with times
The national board of the SDA church should pay out the families not the tax payers of Zambia and the Church should be liable for Manslaughter, we have lost 14 young lives because of not having safety procedures in place. Very sad indeed
Remember to pray for the youth in Zambia. Cover your children every morning with prayer.
Do urge them. Order them to follow safety rules.
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