Bishop Joshua Banda has joined those calling for love and harmony in Zambia

Bishop Joshua Banda

EVANGELICAL Fellowship of Zambia committee member Bishop Joshua Banda has joined those calling for love and harmony in Zambia, saying it is the only way national prosperity shall be achieved.
The bishop said there is need to ensure that the nation stays united, especially through prayer and commitment to love in order to achieve development that can eventually benefit the electorate.
Bishop Banda expressed concern at what he called an evident rise in political in-fighting that has manifested itself in the political arena and called for a stop to the retrogressive shenanigans.
“People do not want to hear insults and we are determined to ensure that Zambia stays united. The media have a responsibility to inform the nation but you should change the tempo of your message and stop the name-calling and labelling,” Bishop Banda said.
He said it is important for political leaders to desist from issuing inflammatory statements which promote hate and focus on development.
And speaking earlier, former President Kenneth Kaunda reiterated his call for love and unity.
Dr Kaunda said it is sad that some people have continued to fight each other over petty issues such as tribe.
He said despite the differences in ethnic groupings, all people are the same and that they should love one another to promote unity and development.
“I repeat this message… if you keep pointing fingers at others, there will be no unity. Regardless of tribe, we are all God’s children, so who are you to point fingers. Love your neighbour as you love yourself and do unto others what you want them to do unto you,” Dr Kaunda said.
And delivering his homily, Bishop Boniface Nkonde said there is need to pray for leaders.
Bishop Nkonde said every leader has a direction and it is important to pray for them to be focused.
“Whatever we are, pray for peace because we pray for our leaders and ensure that they remain united in love, even if they hold divergent political views,” he said.
Some of the politicians present at the thanksgiving prayers were Patriotic Front secretary general Wynter Kabimba, People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti and Alliance for Democracy and Development president Charles Milupi.
The gathering prayed for for peace-building in the country, political harmony and the constitution-making process, good rains and timely distribution of farming inputs and job creation among others.
Meanwhile, CLAVER MUTINTA reports that Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mwansa Kapeya says hostility among politicians and their perception of others as enemies is retrogressive and should be addressed.
Mr Kapeya has called on the church and other stakeholders to help eliminate hostility in the political arena.
He said politicians must realise that they cannot afford to divide the people on the basis of political affiliation, regionalism and tribalism.
The minister was speaking during the consecration of Reverend Bishop Paul Bupe of Redeemed Methodist Church at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka on Friday evening.
“It is unfortunate that this is happening in our country when we are almost celebrating the golden jubilee of independence. Hostility among ourselves will not take us anywhere, it will take us backwards.
“I would request the Church and all of us to come together to eliminate this hostility,” he said.
Mr Kapeya appealed to the Church to spearhead reconciliation and co-existence among politicians, the people and government.
“Government will look up to you to help promote dialogue as the only means to resolving differences amicably. We have every confidence that the Redeemed Methodist Church and other religious denominations will rise to the occasion and champion this cause,” he said.
He said as Zambia prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence from colonial rule, the Church should help the Zambian society rediscover the precious value of the One Zambia, One Nation motto.
The minister said government is committed to working with the Church to foster the peace and unity Zambia has continued to enjoy for a long time.
“We are ready to work with the church to ensure that the moral breakdown this country has experienced in the recent past is cured. Our people should be preoccupied with progressive activities,” he said.
Mr Kapeya commended the church for its contribution to providing social facilities and helping the underprivileged in society.
He said Government has continued to enjoy partnership with the Church in mission schools and hospitals.
Mr Kapeya said the Patriotic Front government holds the Church in high esteem.
And representative of the Evangelical Fellowship in Zambia, Paul Ng’andu, said the EFZ will support all its member churches.
Among others who witnessed the consecration of Dr Bupe were Heritage Party president Godfrey Miyanda and wife Angela and former Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa.