McDonald says it’s beyond belief that the church is quiet over Post matter
By Malawo Malawo
FORMER Chingola mayor McDonald Mulongoti says it is beyond belief that the Church is quiet on the state’s harassment of Dr Fred M’membe and The Post newspaper.
And Luxon Kazubu says the ZCTU and its affiliates are a big letdown because they are watching atrocities being committed against citizens by the PF government in the name of respect for the due process.
On February 15, a horde of armed police raided Dr M’membe’s house on Nangwenya Road in Lusaka with an arrest warrant for him.
They later forcibly stopped the printing of The Mast newspaper.
Commenting on the matter, Mulongoti, a former PF Chingola mayor, reiterated that the Church must speak out against any injustice in society.
“It’s gravely astounding that the Church is quiet on the issue of Dr Fred M’membe and The Post newspaper. One would think that since Zambia has been declared a Christian nation as its central belief, the Church could have risen to the occasion to intercede rather than keeping quiet and watching from a distance because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It’s clear for all to see that M’membe is being persecuted for expressing views considered to be inconsistent with those of the ruling PF,” Mulongoti observed.
He said it appeared as though The Mast was also being targeted to be paralysed simply because its proprietor, Mutinta, was Dr M’membe’s wife.
“[The Mast] seems to have equal weight as The Post. Currently, it is the only private newspaper which may object President Lungu’s third term bid and that can, of course, irk any PF member or official yet dissenting opinions are part of democratic tenets,” Mulongoti added.
He said extermination of a free press must not be entertained at all costs as private media galvanised development through a critical voice.
“Over and above, no political leadership is permanent even if someone is a life President; they still exit power through natural attrition. For this reason, it is very important for our leaders to exercise maximum restraint in the manner they discharge their duties. Limiting our focus to present times only may have disastrous consequences,” cautioned Mulongoti.
“The Christian nation declaration should not be used for political expedience but practical means. I am not encouraging impunity or lawlessness but Christianity rests on forgiveness. As such, the church ought to be duty bound to provide spiritual counsel and guidance to our political leaders. Similarly, KK being our founding president, needs to intervene in pacifying such issues. I know his advanced age may be a contributing factor but we still need his input in such instances. It’s sad that we have Christians for the beatitude but not for God symbolising the downtrodden. The Church should always be an insignia of overt love. Save for a few clergy such as Bishop John Mambo, Rev Susan Matale…and some from the Catholic Church, the rest appear not to be moved in any way yet Jesus Christ stood for the oppressed and marginalised.”
And Kazabu, who served as agriculture deputy minister during Michael Sata’s reign, said the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and its affiliates were a big letdown.
“They are watching atrocities being committed against citizens by the PF government in the name of respect for the due process involving The Post newspaper and Dr M’membe. They are totally compromised. If they are not, why are they not talking about the public print media who we all know owe the government a lot of money in unpaid taxes and other statutory charges? It is also in the public domain that they have failed to represent the workers in our country. Viva NUMSA!” posted Kazabu in a WhatsApp group following South Africa union NUMSA’s threats of a boycott of Zambian products against the PF government’s crackdown on independent media.