By SARAH MWANZA –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has called on the Church to be involved in active politics to Christianise politics, with outgoing Lusaka Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu saying the conduct of Zambian politics was disgraceful.
Mr Lungu said time had come for the Church to strive in making politicians Christ-like for the country to continue practising the tenets of true Christianity.
He said this at the installation of Reverend Alick Banda as the new Archbishop of Lusaka in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Lungu said church involvement in politics would uphold the declaration of the country as a Christian nation.
He added that a true Christians would not want to kill and use violence to take over power therefore those in the opposition and the ruling party should strive to be true Christians.
Mr Lungu said a true Christian would want to interact and dialogue with his friend and not take pleasure in seeing people killing each other in the name of politics.
Mr Lungu like all human beings, politicians were striving to be Christ-like in their conduct and it was the role of the Church to help them get there.
“I have appealed to the Church to give us their sons and daughters to join politics so that we Christianise politics because I believe that a true Christian would not want to hurt his friend just to ascend to power,” he said.
He further reaffirmed that as a Zambia was a predominately Christian nation its politicians should continue to declare the fact in both speech and deed.
“We are here as government to reaffirm that our faith in the Church will remain strong and we will continue to work with the Church.
Archbishop Banda count on us and help us to govern,” he said.
Meanwhile Archbishop Banda’s predecessor Telesphore Mpundu has bemoaned the continued hate speech among political leaders in Zambia.
Archbishop Mpundu said the way politics were being done in Zambia was disgraceful, saying instead of articulating issues that needed attention to push the developmental agenda, political leaders were finding fulfilment in humiliating each other.
He said such conduct was unbecoming of leaders of a supposed Christian nation.
He lamented that politicians have continued expending their energies on degrading each other at the expense of developing the country and serving the people who vote for them.
Archbishop Mpundu explained that greatness was not about how good one was at putting down others but about humility in the service mankind.
He further cautioned politicians and the general citizenry to stop pinning political labels on Church leaders who made pronouncement they found uncomfortable because it was their duty to do so.
Archbishop Mpundu explained that the church had a duty and responsibility to pass judgement on issues that affected the general citizenry.
He said the church should not be partisan but should be there as messengers of peace and hope to the public.
“We are all politicians because everything that affects us is politically inclined but what should be understood is that as a church we are non-partisan and not in active politics,” he said.
Archbishop Alick Banda said he was ready to take up the position and recognised that it came with a different set of challenges and expectations.
“This era brings with it expectations as well as anxiety, hopes as well as challenges, blessings as well as nightmares but we will conquer all this when we remain in Christ,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) representative Bishop George Lungu said the centre would continue to promote peace, love and justice without favour.
Bishop Lungu further thanked Archbishop Mpundu for his dedicated service to the Catholic Church.