Today marks another very important chapter in the history of our country as the entire nation is called to prayer for peace following politically orchestrated violence.
The trumpet for national prayer is particularly timely and vital going by the recently witnessed ugly scenes of heightened political violence which resulted in the brutal attacks on one another by political cadres chiefly from the ruling party (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND).
When national prayers are called, it is not for any single or a few political parties or denominations. They are meant for every patriotic and peace-loving citizen to selflessly dedicate their time to God in prayer.
In this vein, it would be very wrong for any political organisation to politicise the prayer sessions, let alone disrupt any gathering at the rendezvous for such purpose. Wearing of any political party regalia must not be condoned as it would be inappropriate and recipe for unnecessary political tension.
It is worth noting that the holding of national prayers for peace is not only a true demonstration of living up to the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation but also upholding the motto of ‘One Zambia, One Nation.’
The motto alluded to fosters unity, tolerance, co-existence and love for one another despite our different tribal, denominational and political persuasions. Biblically, that is what must be the standard of living amongst us.
In fact, these prayers are meant to cultivate and foster a sense of what should unite us as a people. We are, but one.
We must show love for thy neighbour as thy self as well as adhere to the golden rule of doing unto others as we would like others do unto us. These are some of the biblical values that we must strive to uphold at all times.
Therefore, we fully concur with the stance taken by many political stakeholders to urge their followers to participate in these prayers. Peace is undoubtedly a prerequisite to any meaningful and sustainable national development that every country may talk about. Without peace, development is delusionary.
“As UNIP, we fully welcome the day of national prayer irrespective of who called for it. Zambia being a Christian nation needs to look to prayer more often as the country goes to the polls. We realise that prayer can bring about co-existence, tolerance and non-violent campaigns, “party’s Secretary General Reverend Banda said.
And the confirmation by the UPND to be part of today’s national prayers after public condemnation of its earlier stance not to is commendable.
We applaud the decision because it is undeniable that the UPND and PF cadres have been at the centre of the political violence during this campaign period. Therefore, their involvement in the organised national prayers is inevitably important.
Needless to say that deciding to take part in national prayers is not a waste of time as we all can bear witness to what God did when we held similar prayers on 18th October, 2015.
God answered our prayers for abundant rainfall amidst a threatening drought spell we faced as a nation and now we can comfortably say that we have sufficient food stocks.
We urge all to seize the opportunity to equally pray for leaders who have personal integrity, competent, objective, selfless, accountable and committed to the service of mother Zambia.
“Those who will not take part in prayers are enemies of peace and we need to pray for them,” Chief Chipepo said.