Zambia: Partner Govt, Church Told
10 June 2011
THE Global Training Network (GTN), an international organisation that trains church planters, pastors and Christian leaders around the world, has called on the Church in Zambia to partner the Government in facilitating continued development to citizens.
And President Rupiah Banda has pledged to continue working with the Church and reaffirmed that his Government has never led a campaign against the Church at any time.
GTN Central Africa liaison officer Barney Mulenga said in Ndola yesterday that the Church had been praying for development that could trickle down to all Zambians and that such a scenario had been achieved in the recent past.
Apostle Mulenga said this feat by the Government should not be criticised as a means to lure votes but that it was God’s time through the Government to ensure development.?He was speaking during the on-going GTN inter-denominational annual conference at Lowenthal Theatre in Ndola.
“Zambia, it is our time to see a bumper harvest two years in a roll, it is our time speeding up of development efforts, to host strategic meetings such as the AGOA and it is our time to experience growth of US$2.6 billion of foreign direct investments in the first half of 2011,” he said.
He said Zambia had waited for such a momentum of development and that the Church could not afford to have the achievements trivialised.?Apostle Mulenga said Zambia had reached a critical stage in history which would determine whether to sustain the economic gains so far achieved, through hard work, creativity, and workable policies or exchange them with empty, unproven and untested promises made by politicians every election year.?He said the Church had seen how President Banda had managed to transform the country’s economy despite the criticism and negative language directed at him.?He said it was critical the Church stuck to its much needed and timely role of prayer, guidance and counsel as opposed to taking sides, which had led to confusion that had left citizens groping in darkness since the Church had abandoned its role.
“It is now difficult to distinguish between the preacher and the politician,” he said. The apostle said anarchy and violence was looming largely because the Church had abandoned its pivotal role to foster reconciliation, national unity and patriotism.?He said it was therefore commendable that the Government had reached out to the Church for dialogue and that it was regrettable that the Church was not in the forefront of doing so.
He said if the media would be ethical in their conduct and the Church played its neutral role, the current antagonism and bitterness would be rendered useless.?Apostle Mulenga also reminded politicians to discuss issues in their campaigns, pledge to uphold the peace and be ready to accept the will of the people when they vote. He said the Church did not stand for homosexuality and that politicians that championed such practices should be condemned.?Apostle Mulenga said the Church was also in the process of encouraging the clergy across the country and especially in rural areas to explain homosexuality and its dangers to society.
He said people lacked information on homosexuality and that the practice was not receiving enough condemnation because some simply did not know what it was.And President Banda said his administration had never planned a campaign against the Church especially that the majority of citizens belonged to various churches. ?In a speech read for him by Education Deputy Minister Boniface Kawimbe, the president said some people had worked hard to drive a wedge between the government and the church.
Mr Banda pledged to work with the Church and called for improved dialogue on matters that affected the people. ?He said the clergy should desist from using the pulpit to voice their concerns on issues but that they should offer advice to government directly.
And Mr Kawimbe urged the clergy not to impose candidates on church-goers but that they should make everyone welcome to their churches regardless of who they supported politically.
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