Rev. Matale and politics

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:06:13 +0000


IT is totally unacceptable, extremley careless and uncoscionable for Reverend Matale to suggest that the stampede at OYDC was a result of
widespread national poverty.

Reverend Susan Matale, general secretary of the Council of Churches in Zambia, must come out in the open and declare her interest in politics than use her church position to promote personal political interests.

The church should be the last institution to claim political mileage from a sad and devastating event such as the one in which eight lives were lost in a stampede. Above all, it is an insult to the intelligence of Zambians to suggest that the tragedy was a result of widespread hunger in the country.

This statement was outrightly political, illogical and an affront to the facts as they emerge. There was no food being distributed when the deaths occurred, therefore the suggestion is not correct.

The event at the OYDC was first and foremost a clear proselytization initiative by a so-called Christian or religious organization. It was not a food relief distribution exercise. It could not have been because Zambia is food secure, the few areas affected by drought are well catered for by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit in the Office of the Vice President.

In any event, a single day ration cannot by any stretch of imagination assuage hunger.

The invitation cards to the event were very clear. They were for a proselytization campaign by the little known “Ïglesia Cristo’’ church which seems to have its antecedents  beyond the borders of this country.

This should have been the starting point for any critique by the church.

Instead Rev Matale went on a tangent and stated “…this development is a sign of high poverty levels in the country which has driven people to extreme desperation to an extent of risking their lives in an effort to secure food for themselves”.

She adds “This incident must serve as an eye-opener to the Patriotic Front (PF) government that poverty levels in the country have reached alarming levels. Many signs of high poverty levels such as increased criminal activities have been overlooked by the Government despite countless reminders from ordinary citizens, the civil society and the church that the social-economic situation in the country is continuously deteriorating with no signs of improvement.”

The language is bleak, negative and toxic. The type used by the Post newspaper.

Nowhere in the statement does Rev Matale mention that this entire debacle was instigated by a religious organization; that the food factor was secondary to the attempt to preach.

Instead Rev Matale has a gigantic leap in logic, drawing a conclusion from the particular event at OYDC to the general national status. This thinking is faulty because it fails to address basic research tenets that would address the root causes of the problem.

This reasoning can only be appreciable in the context of political dialogue or rhetoric, an area in which the church should not find itself.

At this stage  the CCZ would do the nation a great favour by concentrating on the role it should be playing in such circumstances by helping to identify the nature and character of this organization that has caused this country such calamity.

This is not the time for finger-pointing and recrimination.


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