Church should not be partisan-chief

THE Church should not take a partisan stance at this critical moment when the country needs to heal from the political crisis threatening national unity but should foster peace and  reconciliation, Chief Chikwanda has said.

The traditional leader told the Daily Nation yesterday that it was surprising that the church had taken different positions on the political environment in the country by either siding with the ruling or the opposition political parties, thereby failing to give objective guidance and counsel.

He said while the role of the Church was to provide national healing by bringing all politicians together and fostering reconciliation, some churches were forcing the political players further apart without realizing that their partisan stance could lead to violence.

He noted that what was happening in the country was unprecedented in the over 50 years of Independence and therefore called for serious reflection among members of the clergy who were supposed to act as peace-makers, as the situation could worsen if left unchecked.

He said there was need for the church to strongly condemn what was wrong regardless of who was involved rather than soothing the ills of one group and castigate another when they committed similar offences.

“What is happening in our country is unprecedented; it has never happened since Independence, yet we have had a number of elections in-between the years and if this political environment is not handled properly, we risk going back to the Cha Cha Cha days when we were fighting for Independence yet there is nothing to fight for any more.

“Unfortunately the Church, which is supposed to take a non-partisan stance, are divided over the political atmosphere and this is not right because the Church is supposed to speak with one voice if they are to provide guidance and foster peace in an objective manner.

‘‘It is sad that the Church, which is supposed to bring us together, is now driving us apart because it has taken a partisan stance. What is wrong must be wrong for all regardless of who the perpetrators are and by so doing it would be easy for us to stop this violence,” Chief Chikwanda said.

He said there was no need for people to fight after last week’s election especially that the matter were before the courts of law, adding that Zambians needed to be cautious and patiently wait for the outcome of the Constitutional Court.

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