By JAMES KUNDA –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has called for violence-free campaigns ahead of the Chilanga Constituency parliamentary by-election set for June 5, this year.
The President also reiterated his call for the Church to help Christianise the nation’s politics by getting more of its members into parliament.
Mr Lungu said yesterday he was concerned at the levels of hatred politicians
perpetrated against one another at election time, despite Zambia having formally declared itself a Christian nation.
He said violence smeared Zambia’s declaration as a Christian nation with mud.
“Very soon we’ll be going for by-elections in Chilanga but people will want to butcher each other for the sake of sending one person to Parliament. This should not be allowed, and I’m asking the Church to talk to us politicians that we may preach Christ and love for one another,” the Head of State said.
The President was speaking at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka where the Anglican Church commemorated Zambia’s 40-year partnership with the Diocese of Bath and Wells, a British faith-based organisation.
President Lungu, who was accompanied by his wife, Esther, said the political environment was ripe for Christians to participate in as the pioneers of national development through the Legislature.
He expressed gladness that members of the Patriotic Front (PF), which he heads, United Party for National Development (UPND) and Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), among other political parties, were present at the church service.
President Lungu, who wowed the congregation with his dancing skills, said the partnership between Zambia and the diocese of Bath and Wells was a clear demonstration of how effective dialogue was as a unifying factor in every sphere of life.
Mr Lungu said the anniversary was a time for reflection on the successes and failures recorded over the 40 years of collaboration, a feat which could be emulated by the country’s politicians because dialogue should be the norm of life.
“Even when a marriage breaks down, the blame should be apportioned on the man and woman for not talking to each other. So even as you criticise me, also criticise the opposition and guide them when they go wrong. Politicians come from the Church and form political parties, we are all children of the Church,” the President said.
In a homily, Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock encouraged Christians in Zambia to promote unity and love in the nation.
Reverend Hancock also relayed greetings to President Lungu and the nation from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumaili also hailed the 40-year relations between the country and Bath and Wells.
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