IT HAS always been our long-held view that while politicians and churches work together for the common good of humanity, the two must keep their lanes if they are to operate effectively.
There is nothing wrong with the church getting involved in governance issues but once church leaders become political animals, then, there is a problem and Father Lastone Lupupa’s sentiments about rigging the August elections is a perfect example of the clergy diverting from their call.
But this should not surprise us. This is just a true reflection of what has become of the church today. Our church leaders no longer care what they say or do as long as it serves them right. Serving humanity has now been diluted by personal pursuits.
Long gone is the time when church leaders could be trusted in totality. The serving spirit among many has diminished; men of the collar are now driven by selfish interests and when you hear a clergy of Father Lupupa’s caliber begin to agitate for illegality, then trouble is on the horizon.
What we expected from Fr. Lupupa, if truly he has seen bad seeds in our political system in the country, was to counsel these people rather than rushing to issues such a careless statement bordering on an illegal way of ushering or maintaining a national leadership in office.
What Fr. Lupupa is agitating for illegal and could be a source of anarchy in this country especially at this time when stakes are high and the earlier he realises this, the better for him and this country. The Catholic Church has made significant strides in supplementing Government’s efforts in developing this country.
The Catholic Church has built schools, health institutions, among others and has been top notch when it comes to responding to natural disasters and this, they have managed to achieve, all through the ages because they have remained apolitical, calling sin for what it is and advancing and preaching peace unity, and justice for all.
To hear a man grounded in these Catholic teachings talk about rigging elections on the pulpit and even beckoning the media to quote him is very sad and goes to show how certain elements are out there to tarnish the image of the Catholic Church which has refused to tow the like of some churches that exist to make money.
Our humble appeal to Father Lupupa is that if he wants to advance his political ambitions, the best to do is to remove that cloth and join politics than defiling the church with impunity by using the pulpit as a veil to shield himself from political opponents while using the Bible to advance his political aspirations.
No doubt, we have a bunch of good-for-nothing politicians both in the ruling and opposition political parties. Like he rightfully put it, any opposition political party that prides in fixing those in power once they are out of office is not good enough to lead this country.
Our economy is bleeding from the depreciating Kwacha and the COVID pandemic which is ravaging this country and if any politician wants to be voted for and his preoccupation is to fix those who are in power now, such a politician must never be given the opportunity to lead this country.
Vindictiveness has not helped this country in any way and by now, politicians should have learnt from the past. When Kenneth Kaunda left office, the MMD pursued him and tried all options at their disposal to fix him. How did that help the country? Frederick Chiluba was fought day and night up to his grave. How has that helped the country?
So, Zambia does not need time waters in Government. Zambia needs visionary men who will work round the clock to turn our fortunes around and not a bunch of honchos that will spend most of their time scheming on how to deal with their opponents.
As a Christina nation, we expect our politicians to realise that forgiveness and unity is important. Zambia has been known as a beacon of peace in the region and we expect those aspiring to lead this nation to realise that we have national pride to protect and not picking useless fights with their opponents.
On this core, we agree with Father Lupupa that as a country, we do not need these vindictive leaders but ones who will work for the common good of every Zambian but to think that elections must be rigged in favour of a certain political party to prevent others from ruling is just ridiculous. More so, that it is coming from a church leader who must be above board. We say this without malice but stating facts.
We know that this will not sit well with some sections of the church but we will not shy away from speaking the truth no matter how it will affect others as this is the only way we will correct each other. Even the Bible itself prescribes rebuke when one goes wrong.
Father Lupupa is not only a Father in the Catholic Church. He is a figurehead in Zambia and he is followed by the same people he today wants their votes taken away because in his eyes, they are not fit to lead this country.
He must realise that he still remains the Father to all Zambians including those same wayward politicians he is talking about but his sentiments are worse than the attitude of the people he is chiding. His careless statement has the potential to set this country on fire and must be condemned by all.
We will not join the bandwagon of those calling for the church to discipline him because he uttered those words in his own capacity as an individual. We don’t agree with the notion of bringing the Catholic Church into this matter because we know what its stands for and this is why we have singled him out as an individual.
We reiterate our call to him to join politics so that he can scheme to rig elections on behalf of whoever he wants. He should stop using the church for political aggrandisement by abusing his position in the church. It is not right. He is putting the church in an awkward position. He must stop this.