THE church has called for issue based campaigns among political leaders ahead of the 2021 general elections.

According to the Church, character assassination and name-calling must never be part of the country’s political discourse.
Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAOG) Presiding Bishop, Joshua Banda, said politicians should discard toxic language and also called for a level playing field ahead of the general elections.
He said politicians must only engage in productive discourse to steer the country’s fortune ahead.
Bishop Banda was speaking in Kitwe at the weekend during the consecration ceremony for Bishop Amos Mtonga as Bishop for the Copperbelt.
“Major political players should dialogue on their own and not wait for the church to force them to. We have preached enough as the church and now is the time for them to sit with one another and resolve their differences,” he said.
Bishop Banda emphasised the need for political leaders to take the message of forgiveness and reconciliation seriously.
He also spoke against “caderism” in the country and appealed to all political parties to take activism and unity into reality.
The Bishop advised politicians to make the youth understand that violence was not employment but a threat to national peace.
Bishop Banda said the country could not afford to continue seeing politics being practiced the way it was today.
He however maintained that the church would continue offering guidance to the political leaders.
Meanwhile, Copperbelt Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe, called on the church to play a bigger role in the affairs of the nation ahead of the 2021 general elections.
Mr Mwakalombe said the clergy must condemn whichever politician who issues inflammatory statements during elections.
“The church should give counsel to all political parties whether ruling or opposition. I am personally ready to be condemned if I am heard promoting hate speech,” he said

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