A Christian nation is not built on acts of revenge - Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, OMI, Mongu Diocese

29 April 2017
Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, OMI, Mongu Diocese


Banabahesu (Brethren),

The question is what have we recently seen and heard in the country that needs to be reflected upon? In my interaction with the people in my pastoral engagement in the diocese I hear that most people are intimidated and threatened to remain silent on events that are happening.

There is a feeling that when people speak out on what they feel is not going on well in the nation, they will lose their employment if they were civil servants or they will be arrested. It is seen even in noble programs or commissions that are sanctioned by government.

Recently there was the commission gathering the views of citizens whether Zambia should remain in the ICC or pull out. How many civil servants in the diocese went and presented their views to the commissioners who were rightly commissioned by the government? This program if I am not mistaken was left to civil societies and other individuals who are not civil servants.

The majority of those in civil service and are knowledgeable with what ICC is decided to remain silent.

The sniffing around of the security wings on individuals who seem to air their views on national issues is leading many people into silence, hence robbing the nation of valuable contributions that makes for national governance. We are witnesses to this. We have seen and we have heard. This culture of silencing genuine debate on national issues should be discouraged. And patriotic Zambians who have lived through the deadly One Party State should reject the culture of silencing people.

The culture of silence which is developing in our nation will create for us a future dictatorship. The private media in Zambia is being sent into silence. In fact with the capture of The Post Newspaper by ZRA and the government, we see the death of private print media. Government institutions have been unleashed on Fred M’membe and The Post Newspaper. The same behavior is also directed to The Mast Newspaper. A Christian nation is not built on acts of revenge.

Banabahesu in the diocese, as I reflected with you in my March, 2017, I say this again, ZRA and the government’s take on Fred M’membe and The Post Newspaper was not done in good faith. A tax reconciliation program which is not politically motivated could have left both parties happy, yet political vengeance was allowed to come into play.

We are witnesses to how things have happened. Should Zambia continue to remain silent and watch the private media being silenced and sent into oblivion? The silencing of private media will not stop and it is continues even today. To this end let me quote the Fivefold are Crimes as outlined by an Old Irish Law:

The crime of the hand, by wounding or stealing;
The crime of the foot, by kicking or moving to do evil deeds;
The crime of the tongue, by satire, slander or false witness;
The crime of the mouth, by eating stolen things;
The crime of the eye, by watching while an evil deed is taking place.

Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, OMI

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