On 1st September 2014, an invitation was made on the MMD Facebook page to receive questions on all the burning issues that Zambians want to direct to Movement for Multiparty Democracy President Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba. We received nearly 200 questions which the MMD Media Team condensed down to 73, as most of them were repetitions. They were edited for clarity and categorized into: 1) Church matters 2) MMD issues 3) Plans & campaign promises 4) Policy Matters 5) General politics, and 6) Miscellaneous. We shall start by releasing the answers to the first part which is Church Matters with the rest to follow later.
I decided to provide answers to all the many questions asked because I believe that there are well meaning and genuine people who wish to know the truth. They have asked because they do not have sufficient information about a certain area of my life. To these I bare my heart. However, I am also aware that there are those who have decided that no truth will make them change their minds. They only wish to perpetuate their partisan or hateful agenda. To them, I trust The Lord to enlighten you in His time.
1. CHURCH MATTERS
During an interview with Frank Mutubila in the 90s, you said that getting into politics would be a demotion? What has changed since then?
I still believe that serving the Lord is the highest calling. That is why I am still serving the Lord up to today. I did not substitute my faith for politics. I just added an extra responsibility to my faith. I was much younger then and had limited information and understanding at that time. I have since grown to find out that I can do more things through Christ who gives me strength.
As we grow and receive more information, we change our minds and positions on many matters. This is the blessing of growth and maturity. If at 54, you still hold onto all the beliefs you had at 17, then you are stunted and have not grown. There is nothing wrong with realising that some pronouncements made in the past were made with incomplete understanding.
Why did you abandon the church? Politics is dirty and not for you. Was it God who called you into politics?
I am first a Christian, then a Pastor and Politician. I did not substitute my Christian faith for politics. I just accepted an additional responsibility to public service – Politics. The same God who called me to be a minister of the Gospel, called me to influence politics by participation. I have served God for 37 years and know his voice. If the call to politics was not from God, I would have been the first person to stay away.
My life’s commitment is to do God’s will. A moral and just Zambia is God’s will and defines my assignment to government. When I began to promote the slogan “Zambia Shall Be Saved”, I thought it was only in spiritual matters. Over time, God has progressively revealed to me that the plans he has for the salvation of Zambia are much more than just spiritual. It also encompasses material things which are determined by the politics of the land.
I am still leader of our 52 churches in Zambia and abroad and I preach almost every Sunday both at home and outside. The cliché, “You have abandoned church for politics” was coined by our opponents to mud-sling me and create a negative attitude towards me among the electorate. They have never asked Reverend Danny Pule who heads a political party but still runs Dunamis Ministries to go back to the pulpit.
Nor have they done the same for Father Frank Bwalya, Reverend Gladys Nyirongo or Reverend Ronnie Shikapwasha. It seems they have one set of rules for Nevers Mumba and another for other church leaders which is double standards. They have twisted what the Bible says to confuse people and also dishonestly perpetuated the myth that I am a failure. How can a failure manage to set up 52 churches from scratch in and outside Zambia, when even managing just one is very difficult?
There is nowhere in the Bible where it says that a religious leader cannot serve as a community or political leader. To the contrary, the Bible suggests that believers in God holding political office can bring prosperity and justice to nations. Scripture says in Proverbs 29:2 that “When the righteous rule, people rejoice, and when the unrighteousness rule, people mourn.” The Bible is full of stories of godly leaders like Moses, Joseph, Joshua, Daniel, David and others leading nations in a political capacity on behalf of God.
Joseph was the Prime Minister of the idolatrous nation of Egypt and he single-handedly saved all the people from starvation due to his God-given wisdom and prudent management of the national crop yields. Daniel also served as a high-ranking politician in Babylon with his friends Shadrack, Misheck and Abednego.
In the Third Century, the Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity and stopped the brutal persecution of Christians by his predecessors. He appointed many Christians into positions of authority, financially supported the Church and was instrumental in creating the modern Bible. He also organised the first Christian Council to establish and codify modern foundational church doctrine and he reformed many Roman laws in line with Christianity, for example abolishing crucifixion. This is a prime example of what happens when believers take the mantle of political leadership.
In the modern world, we have many examples of Christian leaders getting involved in politics such as Reverend Martin Luther King Jr in the USA and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa. The first President of independent Zimbabwe, Canaan Banana, was a Bishop. In America, Mike Huckabee, James Renshaw Cox, Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson all ran for president and they were all ordained Church Ministers at the time.
It is clearly God’s will for believers to serve in the political arena and it is God’s will for Zambia. You cannot pigeon-hole God and restrict him to work only within Church structures. God can choose to send his light anywhere at anytime and he has chosen me and many others to shine light into the dirty world of politics in Zambia.
I have not abandoned the church. I am involved in politics because my faith in God demands it of me. Politics will never be clean until men and women with the fear of God get involved. Zambians should prefer to be governed by people with the fear of God in their hearts, rather than corrupt thieving politicians.
Why don’t you return to the pulpit? Why did you get into Politics?
I have been called by God to be an Evangelist. An Evangelist is a bearer of good news – the Gospel. His responsibility is to identify people and communities living in “spiritual darkness” and bring the light of the Gospel. Matthew 5:13-14 says, we are the salt and light of the World. My job as an Evangelist is to find the most ungodly sections of our society and bring light to those dark spots; areas where sin abounds; areas where injustice abounds. Politics is such an area, and is notably called, the “dirty game of politics.”
I have held Gospel crusades in the most dangerous, ungodly areas around the world. I became the first African Evangelist to hold a crusade in the heart of Soweto, South Africa just before independence when no evangelist wanted to risk their lives in 1994. I held a crusade in Bulgaria at a time that country was experiencing great instability. I took a group of Zambian Christians to Israel and preached in Tel Aviv during a war. I did all this because I am an Evangelist. My call is to dark and dangerous areas. My call is to take light where there is darkness. In Zambia, there is no darker place than politics. If Christians don’t go there, who qualifies to go there?
My assignment from God today is to bring light to Zambian politics. The battle against Christians in this sector will continue to be vicious because the land is occupied by the ungodly. I have never left the pulpit, except that I have taken the pulpit to the political world as an Evangelist.
Are you a preacher or politician? The Bembas say “cimbwi afwile intanganana” [the hyena died because of divided interests] and the Bible says you cannot serve two masters.
I am both. Preaching and being a political leader of people are not two masters but two roles. Human beings are made to do more than one role. Husband and father; teacher and preacher; wife and secretary. The Bible summarizes it in Philippians 4:13 by saying, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. The two roles are not exclusive to each other. Doing one does not prevent the other.
I would like to challenge all those who say I cannot be both in politics and the church to give genuine Christian reasons why, and not the old worn out argument of me not being able to serve two masters at the same time. They should explain how they are able to have a full-time job while serving in their churches as elders, deacons or in some other capacity.
Are you still saving souls? What do you want for Zambia?
My whole life is a witness. Through my preaching, through my actions, souls have continued to come to Christ up to now. We plan to begin posting my recent church services on YouTube for you to see the hundreds who continue to come to Christ whenever I preach. I oversee 52 Victory Bible Churches in Zambia, Namibia and the UK. Currently, Pastor Emmanuel Shikaputo in Kitwe is running Victory Ministries on a daily basis.
I want to see a moral, God fearing people take over the reigns of power in Zambia. I want to erase the deceptive belief that the ungodly are better governors than people of faith. The ungodly want to keep believers out of politics so that they continue their dirty deeds in darkness.
I miss your preaching. When are you coming back?
The notion that I have stopped preaching is erroneous. I am first a Christian. Both Preaching and Politics are offshoots of my faith. I preach because I believe in Christ. I am involved in Politics because I believe in Christ and I am expected to bring light to dark Zambian politics. I preach all the time. My personal website is under construction and you will be able to join me in both local and international services once launched.
When will you meet TB Joshua to speak into your life concerning your Presidential ambitions?
I respect all men of God including brother TB Joshua. I am not experimenting about my political involvement, neither am I looking for someone to confirm whether I should be in politics or not. This was done before getting into politics. I had several weeks of prayer and fasting and also sought the wisdom of a lot of ministers of the Gospel. I know I am in God’s perfect will in this journey.
What is God telling you about Zambia’s political landscape?
The Political landscape must change. We must move from the current immoral politics to politics of morality and integrity. We need to change the players.
Do you mind conducting a church crusade in one of the by-election areas?
I preach anywhere I am invited. I preached during the campaign trail in Solwezi on 7th September 2014.
You keep leaving organizations like the church, the National Citizen’s Coalition, Reform Party, etc. How can you be trusted?
I left Chinsali at 14, moved to Livingstone for Secondary school, moved to Kitwe for College at 18 and finally moved to Lusaka at 41 for my political involvement. Your question suggests that I can only be trusted if I lived my whole life in Chinsali. The question also suggests that only those who have never changed jobs or clubs can be trusted. Please remember that life is a journey.
I however wish to correct you on the Church. I was born into a United Church of Zambia family and grew up in that church like all my brothers and sisters. When I personally gave my life to Christ at age 17, I joined the Pentecostal Assemblies of God until 1980 when I pioneered what is now Victory Ministries International. I remain the leader of this church organization to date. I have never left church.
At the Pulpit, you have been the mouth-piece for The Lord. What about as President?
I will always be a mouth-piece for God. In Church, politics, the diplomatic world and wherever God shall send me. Matthew 5:14-15 says “Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a CANDLESTICK; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”
Once by God’s grace I get elected President of Zambia, the Presidency will be the candlestick for my candle. My faith shall be more visible. Verse 16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven. It is all for God’s glory and not ours.”