By HOPE BWALYA -
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina yesterday met 15 Church mother bodies and cautioned against taking steps that could risk the country’s peace for personal ambitions.
Ms Wina reminded the Church representatives of their role to ensure continued peace in the country.
President Edgar Lungu at the weekend expressed concern over the disunity existing in the Church.
The Government expected the Church to take a lead role in promoting peace and unity by encouraging positive dialogue and co-existence among political players and various stakeholders.
Ms Wina said this in Lusaka yesterday at a meeting aimed at finding out how the Government could be of help, for the Church to play its role effectively.
The meeting was attended by more than 15 Church mother bodies, among them were the Seventh Day Adventist Church represented by the Southern Zambia Union Conference president Harrington Akombwa and the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops president Telesphore Mpundu.
Others were the Islamic Supreme Council of Zambia, Lusaka Muslim Society, Makeni Islamic Society Trust, Independent Churches of Zambia, New Apostolic Church, Evangelical Churches of Zambia, Bishops Council of Zambia, Baptist Convention of Zambia, Apostles Council of Zambia, Zambia Gospel Ministers Association and the Christian Missions in Many Lands (CMML).
“As a Church or indeed as religious leaders, you have a responsibility not only to guide the nation but demonstrate the unity and love that is needed for the country to develop. The peace that we have enjoyed since independence should not be sacrificed for personal interest,” the Vice-President said.
Ms Wina said the Government had resolved to uphold the country’s unity, peace and stability as evidenced by the Christian ethos outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
She said the 7NDP highlighted the promotion of national values and principles, and key among these values were love, peace, national unity and patriotism.
The Vice-President said these were values every religious grouping subscribed to and were the basis of morality.
She said the Government was ready to listen to the Church as it recognised the critical role the Church played in resolving differences and promoting peace and national unity.
A communique will be released on the outcome of the meeting.