Greetings fellow citizens! Please allow me to correct a perception about the Church of God arising out of the robust commentary on a personal opinion of our former leader.
The Church of God has official channels for communicating with politicians or the public at large. The leader of this denomination in Zambia is Administrative Bishop Israel Simbaya, a Theologian whose doctoral major is Peace and Reconciliation. As far as I know, his opinion has not been sought and therefore there is no official communication from the Church of God. Bishop Simbaya, also served on the faculty of two theological institutions and has been a key figure in our own internal reconciliation processes. I am the current National Director of Media Ministries and I am writing from Switzerland where I am on study leave. Bishop Mambo has the right to speak for himself as any other clergy man can, however, if there is an official position to be communicated, it shall be through official channels.
In principle, the Church of God serves its membership by being disengaged from politics. When the people have spoken through the ballot, the political party entrusted by the people to form government is believed to be duty-bound to do so in the best interest of the people, and it is held accountable by the people (both those who voted it into power and those who did not). As a clergy man who kept the Church of God from splintering in the 1980s, Bishop Mambo will continue to hold a place of historical significance on our church, however, his private opinions and comments do not represent the church’s official position.
Media houses seek his comments and opinions for their own purposes and it is their right interview whoever they think is a news-maker. Allow me to conclude that that principle to be remembered is that God is our God, our Judge, our Law-giver, our King, etc. These offices have those who steward them among us that is why “contempt of court” is a serious offence. It is not about the judge personally, but the office of God he or she represents. Bishop Mambo may have his own short comings, but the office he holds is a stewardship from God for which he will account to God. To mock him for physical infirmity is not very Zambian.
Ubuntu ni pabantu, naba Bishop Mambo nabo bantu! If we are going to show ourselves as a leading Christian nation, it must filter into how we do politics and how we treat and speak with each other. No political party can survive the loss of community with its people, neither can Zambia stand if we break community by tribalism, anti-clericism, and other isms. This is my personal communication and not an official comment from the Church of God.
Bishop J. Mumbi (MA Christian Ed., MA Church Min. Graduate Diploma in Community Development)
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