Consolidate State, Church relations-Lungu

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 13:54:55 +0000

THERE is need to consolidate the relationship between the State and the Church because former pres-ident Frederick Chiluba’s declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation 25 years ago was heavenly dis-cerned, President Edgar Lungu has said.

And President Lungu has noted with concern the growing evil among permanent secretaries some of whom he said were failing to do their honest part and only waited for things to go wrong so that min-isters and directors could shoulder the blame.

Speaking at State House yesterday when he swore in Sabina Chifwepa as Ministry of National Guid-ance and Religious Affairs permanent  secretary and his Ministry of Works and Supply counterpart Joe Kapembwa, President Lungu said there was no need for a rift between the State and the Church be-cause they were one.

He said there was need for co-existence and implored the Church to be bold enough by providing counsel to those in power when they go astray because that was its role, adding that the Church and State’s interaction should not be mistaken as a ploy to hijack the Christian faith for political expedi-ence.

He advised the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to be wary of people whose aim was to brew hatred between the Church and the State, saying there was need for a sound relationship and proper engagement between the two especially that the Christian faith was a constitutional issue in the country.

“For us as believers, we know that we are anchored on very strong principles. When president Chiluba said Zambia shall be a Christian nation 25 years ago, it was from above. It came from his heart but he was used as a vessel and so, let us consolidate this relationship between the State and the Church without necessarily fighting each other.

“I am saying so because people think that when we proclaim our faith of Christianity as individuals or as members of the political parties, we want to hijack the Church to champion our cause.

“There should be no problem. The Church should feel free to interfere with politics by telling us, you are going astray, why don’t you do this because that is their role to minister to us?” President Lungu said.

“Yours is to guide and make sure that you help the minister implement their mandate. I have seen a lot of evil among permanent secretaries who just wish something goes wrong for the minister or the directors simply because they are standing up and telling them which way they are supposed to go but we are one,” he said.

He said permanent secretaries should realise that those in power were just politicians drawing and de-pending on the expertise from them as civil servants who understood the operations of their ministries better, hence the need to do the rightful things.


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