The Council of Churches in Zambia says it is concerned with the direction in which the PF Government is leading Country to.
An the Mother Church body says the acquittal of PF sponsor Henry Kapoko is very suspicious and takes away the confidence that people have in the government to effectively fight corruption.
In a pastoral Letter signed by its Secretary General Suzanne Matale, the Church says the freeing of Kapoko and his accomplices, if not properly determined will erode confidence of the people who generously provide the resource for the betterment of the people of Zambia especially those living with HIV/AIDS.
The Church asked in its Pastoral letter released today that, if Mr Kapoko is not the embezzler then who is?
The church further demanded that Kapoko’s case must not be allowed to just go away. ‘Someone must be held responsible for the disappearance of the money meant for development.’
And the church said nothing has changed under PF. The Church is puzzled by the government’s threats of people of Mufumbwe that if they don’t vote for PF, they will have no development.
‘Misuse of government resources, just like before, continues unabated. The sudden appearance of relief food, quick fix development belongs to the past and is not expected of the Government which promised Zambians new type of politics,’ reads part of the letter which is reproduced below:
SEEKING JUSTICE FOR ALL
Proverbs 21:7 and 8
Towards Seven Decades of Christian Unity and Service
(1945 – 2012)
THUS FAR THE LORD HAD LET US
1 Samuel 7:12
A PASTORAL LETTER
We, the Heads of Churches under the umbrella of the Council of Churches in Zambia met on 7th November, 2012 to reflect and to deliberate on a number of matters pertaining to the livelihood of the people in Zambia especially the poor. We also took time to interrogate national issues as we see them unfold in the nation which have direct bearing on the well-being of our country Zambia and impact negatively on the lives of the Zambian people. We also deliberated on governance issues in general.
We continue to reaffirm our role in the Nation as people who advocate for social justice, peace and development and as such we intensely endeavor to protect the interests of the majority of the voiceless people in Zambia. Our inspiration always comes from the prophetic voice according to the word of God. We believe we are obliged to bring to the nation an enlightened Christian opinion on issues affecting the spiritual, physical, social and well-being of Zambians and we offer a holistic ministry for human dignity informed by God’s truths and God’s desire that all may live a life of abundance.
2.0 State of Politics in Government
2 Sam 23.3b-4 “……. He who ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun riseth, a morning without clouds, as the tender grass spring out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.” (2 Sam 23.3b-4)
The Council of Churches in Zambia continue to believe that the government still has good will from the people of Zambia. The same good will Zambians exhibited during the last general elections when the Government was ushered into office in September, 2012. We hasten to say, however, that we are concerned with the direction in which the Government is leading our Country Zambia. This concern has been prompted by the way the Government has set itself to repeat all the things that the Zambians said they did not appreciate in the previous governments. This trend is a threat to the aspiration of the Zambian people who had hoped to see new dispensations, new ideologies, new work ethics, new values and new focus on the improvement of the lives of the people. People believed the promise of a better Zambia.
So far indications are that not much has changed as we continue to see concentration on the well-being of the leaders rather than the led. The leadership wrangles, in full view of the nation, perpetuated by very senior members of Government are an indicator of lack of vision, insight and discipline in the government ranks. The hostility and the language used are destructive. This state of affairs is disheartening and should not be tolerated by the party in government. Zambians are not interested in wrangles of people jostling for positions, but only want to see proper and long lasting development in the nation as they were promised before the elections. The wrangles are only taking away people’s confidence in the government. We call upon the President to bring these wrangles to an immediate stop. The news on conflict in our media should be replaced with plans of where and how the government intends to develop Zambia and lead her out of her poverty. This is the basic reason that the Zambians voted the current government into power; to bring long lasting development that takes precedence over all personal, selfish desires of individuals.
3.0 Fight Against Corruption
2 Peter 2:19 – While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
The acquittal of Mr Henry Kapoko and his accomplices is very suspect in our view to say the least. This takes away the confidence that people have in the government to effectively fight corruption. This is not the first time that a high profile case has just fizzled out of the face of the earth. We want to encourage the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), who have expressed that they would appeal this case, to boldly go ahead and do it in a way that it will be a water tight case. The Zambians would like to see the case dealt with to its logical conclusion. It concerns the loss of billions of Kwacha meant for the well-being of Zambians and for the case to be disposed off in the manner that it has been is very sad and very suspicious. This case, if not properly determined will only erode confidence of the people who generously provide the resource for the betterment of the people of Zambia especially those living with HIV/AIDS. The question we are asking is; if Mr Kapoko is not the embezzler then who is? This case must not be allowed to just go away. Someone must be held responsible for the disappearance of the money meant for development.
Mathew 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
We have noted the tendency by the new government to use the same language that has been used over the years to intimidate Zambians during the elections, to frighten the electorate into submission with statements like “we shall not bring development to this place if you do not vote for our candidate”. This type of campaign messages is erroneous and unacceptable. Many people in Zambia contribute to the national resource basket in terms of paying all kinds of taxes and therefore whether they vote for one party or another they are all entitled to development because they are all Zambians. Governance issues are not the same as party issues. Government’s role is to develop the country on behalf of all Zambians. Politicians must take note that all people have the right to freely elect leaders of their choice as this is their constitutional right and should not be deprived of their livelihood because they voted for a different party.
Misuse of government resources, just like before, continues unabated. The sudden appearance of relief food, quick fix development belongs to the past and is not expected of the Government which promised Zambians new type of politics.
The Council of Churches is encouraged with the campaigns in Mufumbwe. It is our prayer that these by-elections will proceed and conclude in a non-violent manner. All parties who are taking part in the elections must exercise maximum maturity, self-control, self- restraint by all means. We are encouraged by the political parties demonstration of maturity in Mufumbwe which has been done in a non violent manner so far. We have said this before and we say it again that we will not accept members of parliament who to go Manda Hill riding on the blood-soaked backs of poor innocent Zambian due to selfishness and impunity of some politicians. We will accept nothing short of clean politics for a change in this country.
5.0 Gender Based Violence
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
The Council of Churches in Zambia will participate together with other stakeholders in the forthcoming 16 days of activism through a worship service, TV and radio programmes, bible studies, youth indabas. This occasion we believe provides a good platform for the church fraternity to show commitment to reducing Gender based violence which has become endemic in the nation. We, therefore, call upon all our member churches to ensure that they all participate in their various locations in this important programme. It has become imperative that we join forces with the government and other stakeholders to fight this ugly phenomenal in our country. As a church we should ourselves take serious steps in embracing GBV programmes in all our churches. This requires that we not only participate in the 16 days of activism but that we make it our business to put this matter on top of our programmes as it has a huge bearing on the improvement of quality of lives for the people, reduction of poverty and enjoyment of dignity for all as God intented it to be.
We wish all Zambians well.
Signed by: The Rev Suzanne Matale
For and on behalf of the Heads of Churches of CCZ member-churches