By Bright Chikele:
THE United Party for National Development (UPND) has said it will not participate in the national day of prayer which President Edgar Lungu has asked the Church to organise before next month’s general election.
Meanwhile, the Church has pledged to ensure that the event is held successfully.
President Lungu on Sunday, while addressing congregants at United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Kariba Consistory, Siavonga main congregation, asked the church to organise a day of national prayer before the August 11 general elections.
This, the Head of State said, was because the country was in need of God’s intervention to curb the political violence that had characterized campaigns ahead of the polls.
But UPND Spokesperson Charles Kakoma in an interview with Times of Zambia yesterday said that the opposition political party regarded Mr Lungu’s call to prayers as a waste of time because such events in the past had not yielded the ‘desired’ results.
“That (call for prayer) is a waste of time and he (Mr Lungu) should stop strategies that are aimed at wasting people’s time,” Kakoma said.
“Mr Lungu called for a national day of prayer on October 18 last year, but what tangible results have been achieved?”
He alleged that Patriotic Front cadres were inciting violence and the opposition party had engaged the Head of State on the matter.
“UPND wrote to Mr Lungu on issues of political violence and the response is still being awaited. People cannot just pray without deeds matching prayer,” said Kakoma.
However, Northmead Assembly of God Church overseer Joshua Banda said the Church was ready to implement the President’s pronouncement.
“It is a welcome call and this is something we as the Church have planned, as we are in the last 30 days of the 100 which we dedicated to prayer ahead of the elections,” said Bishop Banda.