Friday, August 21, 2009

Apologise to Catholic church, Mambo urges Shikapwasha

Apologise to Catholic church, Mambo urges Shikapwasha
Written by George Chellah
Friday, August 21, 2009 5:00:24 PM

FORMER Church of God overseer Bishop John Mambo yesterday said information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha's attack on the Catholic Church was uncalled for.

Commenting on Lt Gen Shikapwasha's ministerial statement to Parliament on the violence against journalists by MMD cadres in which he accused the Catholic Church of having perpetrated the Rwanda genocide of 1994, Bishop Mambo said the minister should apologise to the nation as it would help the born again movement.

"That ministerial statement was uncalled for. Why should we be reminded of what happened in Rwanda, the genocide of Rwanda? That's totally uncalled for. Zambia was declared a Christian nation and when we go to Parliament we must be mindful of our language because people are not docile, they are just God fearing," Bishop Mambo said. "But when you attack one body of Christ you attack all and that came from someone who is also a reverend in the born again set up, that's not right. You don't attack other movements whether you have the same doctrine or not. That was not right."

He said Lt Gen Shikapwasha should have addressed the matter at hand.

"I followed the statement myself, what the Honourable Speaker called the minister to give a statement on was the battering of innocent journalists. And the Speaker was in order, he must be appreciated because that's the House, which makes laws. What Hon Shikapwasha should have done was to address the nation through the House on what the Speaker had raised," Bishop Mambo said. "What had taken place we are all asking, are we coming back to Chachacha days? We shouldn't because cadres are there really to spearhead the grassroot. But not to rough up accredited journalists more especially when the head of state is there. We are setting a bad precedent for our country Zambia. It's not our culture, it's unheard of."

He said Lt Gen Shikapwasha should apologise to the nation.

"He owes an apology to the nation of Zambia because when you talk about the Catholics they are the nation, they are in majority, I am from the born again myself. They are in majority whether we like it or not. They are in power to spearhead good leadership that will embrace everybody," he said.

Bishop Mambo said Lt Gen Shikapwasha should apologise to journalists as well.

"Because it's not only you who have been roughed. Now it's becoming a vicious cycle. He should apologise and say maybe I was misquoted... at the end of the day it will help us the born again because he is a reverend. A reverend like myself, I must always be careful of what I say whether I join politics or outside politics because it's a chain reaction on us born agains," said Bishop Mambo. "The problem that we are facing in this movement is that the new bishops of the born again, they cannot sit me down and say this was wrong, because he belongs to a church which is his family. By now they would have called him. The problem of politics whether it is a clergy who goes in or a good democrat and so forth once you enter it, it changes us."

Giving a ministerial statement, Lt Gen Shikapwasha accused the church of trying to jostle for who they should put into State House.

Lt Gen Shikapwasha said the church in Rwanda took sides with newspapers and radio stations, which were fanning out falsehoods and propaganda that led to the genocide.

"The church blindly took sides in opposing camps such that it is reported Mr Speaker that after a century of Christian proselytisation the country was catholicised but not Christianised. Ritual was generally followed but the spirit was missing. This became tragically evident for the church, only after April to May 1994, when its people slaughtered their brethren wholesale inside the churches on orders from civil authorities and priests. This Mr Speaker is because the church took sides with men. The church must take sides with God," said Lt Gen Shikapwasha. "I see that the Church in Zambia is taking sides with man rather than taking sides with God. We see the church in Zambia taking no stand against the things that God abhors. Where is the church when the newspaper is insulting the head of state? Where is the church when young men are insulting old men? Is it not the church to reconcile God's people in the country?

"The church is busy with trying to jostle for who they should put into State House, forgetting their mandate. Others are dishing out second hand clothing in the campaign for the pact. Others feel if a person does not belong to a certain political party, they are not Christian enough. Mr Speaker, all this used to happen in Rwanda before the genocide. The church failed in Rwanda, 25 priests have so far been imprisoned for genocide. The church in Zambia must learn from the lessons in Rwanda, the Spirit of God must rule in the lives of people. If there is any pact, that one should be packeted with it is Jesus. Therefore, my appeal to the church through you Mr Speaker and through this August House is seek ye first the Kingdom of God and Zambia shall be saved from calamities.”

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