Council of Churches calls PF government as wicked

CCZ General Secretsry Suzanne Matale

By Emmanuel Chilekwa

The Council of Churches in Zambia says the PF government is wicked and has a problem with leadership just like Nigeria had experienced.

The CCZ has come out brutal on the PF government. The Church says the PF government has turned Zambia into a police state and buried democracy.

“Those in power who, without mercy and grace are unleashing their venom on people who are opposed to their machinations”, the CCZ has said in a press release of 17th April,2017.

“The militarization of civil policy is frightening. To think that law, order and peace can only
be enforced by guns and machetes,”

The Church is afraid that leadership and management of fear will destroy this country.

“Instead of the people in power concentrating on improving lives of people, they are spending valuable resources in silencing, imprisoning, de-motivating, demoralizing and killing the spirit of unity in diversity.”

“The arresting of political opponents, the traumatizing of their families thereby building in those children and spouses a spirit of revenge,”

This is the first time in the history of the CCZ to come out so brutal against a sitting government.

In Zambia, it has been the Catholic priests, through their scathing pastoral letters, that hits out at sitting governments and KK and Rupiah Banda are the two recipients of such.

It is my honest belief that the PF government won’t win to stand truant against the Church advise. There’s no government which has stood against the Church.

The Catholic Church has been supporting the PF government but alas, if the two meet to take a common stand against the PF government then the PF government should kiss goodbye to governance come 2021.

Here’s their full statement.

COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN ZAMBIA

Press Statement
17th April, 2017

The deep and joyous and prayerful reflections of the Holy week have been marred by the sad developments on the political scene. We have sadly observed that during this period
opportunity was taken by the Government and the Police to overshadow the real reason for Easter Season.

The events of the last few days in our beloved country Zambia cannot pass without serious
reflection of which way do we want to go Zambia and what vision do we hold dearly as God’s people. The Council of Churches in Zambia is very troubled and disturbed at the
unfolding lawlessness, impunity and shear madness of the decisions being made in this country i.e. the police, the political bureau and the entire political leadership.

Our understanding of the nature of God’s plans and desires is that people may live in peace and harmony and that they teach their children the values and ethics by which to live by.

We passionately appeal to those in power who, without mercy and grace are unleashing their venom on people who are opposed to their machinations.

This country does not belong to the ruling party the Patriotic Front. This is God’s country and it belongs to all the people in it from all ethnic groups, race, creed and tribe.

The militarization of civil policy is frightening. To think that law, order and peace can only
be enforced by guns and machetes is an affront to democracy and justice and an offense to
humanity.

We are afraid that leadership and management of fear will destroy this country. Instead of
the people in power concentrating on improving the lives of people, they are spending valuable resources in silencing, imprisoning, de-motivating, demoralizing and killing the spirit of unity in diversity.

It is not long ago that a young, bright, professional ZAF officer was brutally murdered in
police custody needlessly for committing a menial traffic offence which could have been
resolved amicably according to the laws of this nation but his life was taken away for
expedience by people who were supposed to protect him in the first place. Woe to Zambia.

We condemn this in the strongest terms.

Again we are concerned about the political intimidation of the legitimately elected leadership of the Law Association of Zambia for carrying their duty and mandate again to silence a voice of mandate.

The saga continues to silence the private media who offer a platform for much needed divergent views in the nation and private media which offers space for the voice of the voiceless.

The arresting of political opponents, the traumatizing of their families thereby building in those children and spouses a spirit of revenge does not help the future of this nation. It is clear that the police were negligent and to transfer their neglect to another person in this instance UPND President Hakainde Hichilema is inexcusable. How possible is it that
Hakainde Hichilema’s motorcade could have been on that road without police clearance?

From the clip that the world saw it is clear that Hakainde’s motorcade did their best to give way to President Lungu’s motorcade. It is on record that other similar incidents occurred to President Rupiah Banda in Solwezi where he was blocked by PF cadres but the
opposition leader was not charged with treason? The question is what law is being followed in HH’s incidence. Besides HH was an invitee of the Barotseland Royal Establishment
through the KUTA in Limulunga and had every right to drive on the road to the event. It was the Police’s responsibility to control traffic on that road and ensure that all motorists,
including the president, travel safely.

We note from historical records that HH has always responded to police call outs. Why
was he not called to explain himself like he has always dutifully done but instead the police went to his house, damaged his property, stole food, money and traumatized his family?

The CCZ wants to put on record their dismay and their fear for the future of Zambia. And
unless our leadership assert good leadership, recognizing that Zambia belongs to all
Zambians and also recognize the right of all people to speak freely, to move freely, we are on our way to a Zambia which we would have destroyed with our own hands.
Zambia needs healing and reconciliation rather than confrontation which ignites frustration.

Healing and reconciliation should be led by the President, the father of the nation. It does not matter who agrees or not agree with him.

The President has a
responsibility to Zambia to ensure unity is a reality and that him being a President he has
nothing to lose by rising to the occasion and to call for dialogue and to enforce unity in
diversity. That is the hallmark of good leadership. Christian teaching clearly shows that everything rises and falls according to the leadership of the moment.

The renowned Nigerian writer and poet writes in one of his books that “the trouble with
Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the
Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or anything
else.” This has become increasing true of our Zambia.

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan”
(Proverbs 29:2).

Rev Dr Bishop Alfred Kalembo
President – Council of Churches in Zambia

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