THE opposition political parties that held a meeting with the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) should realise that the church is not a place to abet criminal behaviour and should not subject it to such reproach, the Evangelical Youth Alliance (EYA) has charged.

EYA executive director Moses Lungu said the meeting by some opposition political parties on Tuesday “was a total farce and a disregard of the important role the church plays in uniting the country’’ and advised politicians to stop politicising the church. Rev. Lungu said in as much as the church played a critical role in the politics of the country, Tuesday’s meeting at which the political parties allegedly made ‘‘frivolous demands”, among them an order to have The Post Newspaper opened immediately, “amounted to criminality”.

He said it was folly for the opposition political party leaders to converge at ZEC to support criminality by attempting to shield the tabloid that was denying Zambians their revenue through tax evasion.

He charged that all those who attended the meeting had de-campaigned themselves because they had shown the country that their desire to lead the country was engrossed in criminality and selfishness and that they should never be given a chance to run the affairs of the country because they were destructive.

He said it was important for politicians to look to the church for guidance during the time of trouble but said Tuesday’s meeting had no justification as it was the opposite of the reasons that should take politicians to seek the guidance of the church on any matter they felt  aggrieved.

“Opposition political parties that went to ZEC should realise that the church is not a place for abetting criminal behaviour and they should not subject it to reproach which will damage its image. The demands they went to make are unjustifiable because tax evasion is a criminal act. Are they telling us that they will be defending such criminality if they were to come into power?

“Everyone who aspires to lead the country pledges to abide by the law and a Governmnet is not a terror to anyone who abides by the law but it can be difficult to anyone who attempts to commit a misdemeanour like Fred M’membe whom they are trying to protect,” Rev. Lungu said.

He said the payment of tax did not exempt anyone and that thinking that some individuals should be above the law was a farce and wondered why the same group had failed to stand for ordinary citizens who were going to jail for various crimes committed.

“What is special about Mr. M’membe that they should demand that he should be released and his newspaper opened? Why didn’t they do the same to ordinary members of the public who are serving jail sentences for various crimes they committed? It is said that among them were people who understand the Bible like Nevers Mumba but failed to reason,” he said.

Among the political party leaders who attended the meeting at ZEC on Tuesday were UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, FDD’s Edith Nawakwi, Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba and ADD leader Charles Milupi.