Christianity, Campaigns, and the Politics of God’s Choice
by Elias Munshya
Never have we, and neither should we, object to the Honourable Minister of Religious Affairs Rev. Godfridah Sumaili exercising her constitutional right to belong and campaign for her political party of choice. As a citizen of this country, she has the right to belong and promote a party of her personal choice. In fact, as a member of the Patriotic Front (PF) her fortunes rises and falls on the political party. What we should object to is her characterisation of her choice as the choice of God. She should quietly and peaceably enjoy her party affiliation with the Patriotic Front, without nauseating our people with the song that the PF is somehow God’s chosen party. The very fact that this PF government is willing to parade a minister of religious affairs and national guidance to be a campaigning demagogue goes to show the lack of self-respect that this political party has. Particularly in the face of evidence that the PF is a party that works against the interest of the people of Zambia. Sadly, it is now taking K20 to buy a dollar, while the PF steals from the poor.
What is God’s choice for a political party in Zambia? Clearly, all political parties have Christians and non-Christians in them. God has taken no sides regarding political party affiliation in Zambia. Further, people who vote in Zambian elections vote based on their own choices. Both the PF and the UPND are voted by Christians and non-Christians alike. It is sacrilege, for the minister to say, as she did in Lukashya that the PF and its leader Dr Edgar C. Lungu (what “C” actually stands for is left to tremendous speculation at this point), are God’s choice for Zambia.
Further, it is misleading for her to state that God has chosen the PF candidate George Chisanga over Davis “Big Mule” Mulenga. The voters in Lukashya and Mwansabombwe should not be blackmailed by government ministers into voting for the PF. The voice of the people is the voice of God. And indeed, God does speak through the people. And so, the only way we will know God’s choice is when the ballots are cast, and the people elect the person and party they wish to elect. This thing of blackmailing people must end, and the so-called minister of “national guidance” must know better.
Values and principles of the word of God can only be seen through the practical activities of the people of God. Scripture tells us that we shall know them by their fruits. The fruits of the Patriotic Front have shown to be a bizarre party that has completely mismanaged our country. The party has preached tribalism like no other government in our history. To date, young Tonga and Lozi professionals have been fired or as Dr Lungu always puts it “retired in the national interest.” These are retired just because of their tribe. We, therefore, ask one question – how can this be happening in a Christian nation? Tribalism is not of God. It is of the devil. Just last month we got word that machines used in the mobile NRC registrations are damaged. So the mobile exercise that should have been commenced in Western and Southern provinces will not go ahead as planned. It is quite ironic that in this Christian nation, the machines worked very well in Luapula and Muchinga – but when the machines crossed the Kafue River, they suddenly stopped working. We know why they stopped working – it is because this government and party that claims to be Christian is actually a tribalist party. And the honourable minister of religious affairs and national guidance cannot correct any of these injustices because she provides no moral guidance at all. She is busy singing, and perhaps benefitting from the corruption of the PF government.
Just a few months ago – the Patriotic Front party Secretary General with his media director danced to songs of insult intoned at the party secretariat as the Patriotic Front youths insulted Dr Chishimba Kambwili. A party that insults in this manner cannot possibly be representing the values of the Kingdom of God. How can we even justify the kind of insults that were directed at Dr Kambwili?
The Patriotic Front is a party of thieves. They have stolen from road contracts. They have also overborrowed from China, and when they are caught over-borrowing, they have hidden the real figures of their kaloba contracted from China. And these are the kind of people claiming that God is on their side. How can God be on the side of a party that is stealing from poor Zambians in broad daylight?
So how then should we treat Rev. Sumaili? We should treat her like we do the corrupt party she belongs to. She is no messenger of God, at least not in the political sense. She is a messenger of theft, corruption, tribalism, and absolute confusion, just like the rest of her Patriotic Front ilk.
The author, Elias Munshya, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org