PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says government recognises the evangelical role of the church of ensuring that the dignity of the people is attained and respected as an important task in national building.
He said this yesterday in Mpika during the consecration of Father Justine Mulenga as Catholic Bishop for Mpika Diocese.
He acknowledged the church’s role of fostering peace and unity was critical and called on the clergy to continue offering wisdom and guidance through its evangelical duties.
“My Government recognises the evangelical role of the church as an important task in national building. We acknowledge that the effectiveness of evangelization depends on how best the local church adapt itself to the ever-changing moral, social and economic needs of the people God has placed under its pastoral care.
“It is imperative that as a government, we work together with the church in striving to meet these obligations of justice and love for our people,” President Lungu said.
He said while the church and state were different institutions, their obligation was the same because they worked to serve the same people God had put under their care. President Lungu appealed to the church to continue praying for peace as the country goes to the polls this year.
He said the church also needed to pray for thanks-giving to God for the prayers for rains which were answered.
Meanwhile, Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) vice president Alick Banda said there was need for civility among political opponents by engaging in dialogue to challenges that faced Zambians and not violence
Bishop Banda said violence and hooliganism belonged to the “stone Age” and should be tolerated. He said while Zambia was a beacon of peace, the recent political developments among political players were not inspiring.
The event was also attended by United Party for National Development (UPND) leaders Hakaimde Hichilema and his deputy Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi and Paramount chief Chitimukulu among others.
Meanwhile, four districts have been identified in Eastern Province for promotion of value addition to agriculture produce in order to enhance productivity in the sector, President Edgar Lungu has revealed. This came to light during the fundraising dinner for the 2016 elections organised by the Patriotic Front (PF) provincial leadership in Eastern Province which was graced by President Edgar Lungu at Protea Hotel on Friday night.
President Lungu said government had identified Chadiza for soya beans which will be used to produce edible oils and Katete for primary beef production.
He said Lundazi had been identified as a cotton rich district whose seed would be used to make cooking oil and animal feed while Sinda had been earmarked for production of peanut butter, roasted peanuts, cooking oil and stock feed.
President Lungu said as part of the industrialisation strategy, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) had started receiving applications from prospective beneficiaries intending to invest in various sectors of the economy.
And speaking at the same function, PF deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri advised women to take advantage of the party’s decision to field 40 percent female candidates in this year’s election.