Political violence saddens church body


THE Church is deeply saddened by the ever increasing cases of political violence that have characterised the political scene with deaths recorded in some instances, says Council of Churches in Zambia ( CCZ) president Bishop Alfred Kalembo.

Bishop Kalembo said in a statement yesterday that the church did not support any political party that propagated political violence and called on political parties to end political violence, stating that violence did not reflect the agenda of the nation but personal selfishness.

And the CCZ president says the church will demonstrate unity of purpose by joining hands in praying for the nation on issues affecting the country which were of concern ahead of the August 11 elections on a date and venue to be communicated later.

“An open invitation will be extended to all peace-loving Zambians to attend an interdenominational national prayer service, to lift the country to God on issues affecting the country which are of concern ahead of the August 1 elections.

‘‘During the event, whose date and venue will be advised, the church will focus on praying for peace, political harmony, leadership and Government,” he said.

CCZ has condemned physical violence perpetuated by youths suspected to be sponsored by both the ruling and opposition political parties.

“Physical violence perpetuated by youths suspected to be sponsored by both the ruling and opposition political parties and feared to be armed is a sign of immaturity among politicians whom we expect to address the matter with the urgency it deserves if the situation is to be corrected”, he said.

He has urged political parties to refrain from antagonising each other especially by insults and bad language, a situation which he said may result into violence and consequent death.

Bishop Kalembo appealed to political party leaders to address the issue urgently, which if left unchecked could erupt into serious conflict which might destabilise the country’s peace and stability.

He said the church remained resolute against gay rights and that CCZ will continue to uphold the biblical values that oppose same sex marriages.

Meanwhile, CCZ says it will ensure that the electoral process is credible and held in accordance with the laws that govern the country as a democratic State through its alliance with the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) consisting of four faith- based organisations, namely (CCZ), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), and the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) through Caritas Zambia.

“The formation of the coalition is aimed at monitoring the elections and the entire electoral process leading to elections, focusing mainly on the management of the election results using Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) exercise as a tool to monitor the integrity of the election results during and after the counting process of the votes.

CCMG is currently undertaking four monitoring efforts as the nation works towards holding general elections this year and these are Long Term Observation (LTO), Voter Register Audit, PVT and Voter Registration Monitoring ( VRM) which was just completed”, he said.


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