Churches slam Lungu over cre­ation of re­li­gion min­istry

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide -

LUSAKA — Zam­bian churches have slammed Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu for cre­at­ing a re­li­gion min­istry, say­ing that this would lead to govern­ment med­dling in church is­sues, said a re­port on Wed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the Tablet, the Zam­bia Con­fer­ence of Catholic Bish­ops (ZCCB) and the Coun­cil of Churches in Zam­bia (CCZ) were not pleased over the newly cre­ated min­istry.

Both bod­ies warned that the move could turn the coun­try into a theoc­racy and ex­tend state con­trol over re­li­gion.

In a joint state­ment the church or­gan­i­sa­tions fur­ther de­scribed the move as “un­wise and un­nec­es­sary”.

“In view of the var­i­ous fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic chal­lenges our coun­try is cur­rently fac­ing, we nei­ther see the cre­ation of the said min­istry as a top pri­or­ity nor a pru­dent de­ci­sion. Af­ter all, we be­lieve that Zam­bians want their coun­try to be a democ­racy rather than a theoc­racy”, the church or­gan­i­sa­tions re­port­edly said in a state­ment.

Lungu re­port­edly ap­pointed Pen­te­costal pas­tor Rev­erend God­fridah Su­maili, as head of the new min­istry.

Mean­while, the op­po­si­tion party, the United Party for Na­tional De­vel­op­ment (UPND) com­plained over the slow ap­point­ment of cab­i­net min­is­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to the Zam­bia Re­ports, a UPND of­fi­cial, McDon­ald Chipenzi warned that the coun­try may not have a full func­tion­ing cab­i­net be­cause of what he de­scribed as “piece­meal ap­point­ment of min­is­ters”.

“At this snail’s pace he is ap­point­ing Min­is­ters, we are likely to reach fes­tive sea­son with­out a full Cab­i­net be­ing ap­pointed. It will be worse when it will come to ap­point­ing and re­plac­ing Diplo­mats, PSs and DCs. I fore­see an­other five years of ap­point­ments with­out sta­bil­ity in the run­ning of govern­ment,” Chipenzi was quoted as say­ing.

Lungu was sworn in early this month, with op­po­si­tion leader Hakainde Hichilema say­ing the cer­e­mony was “Il­le­gal and un­con­sti­tu­tional”.

Lungu, who first took power last year, won the Au­gust 11 elec­tion by just 100 000 votes. — AFP

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