VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
LOVE, peace and reconciliation: These are the secret ingredients President Lungu seems to be mixing in his leadership characteristics as he drives the country towards prosperity and sustainable development.
On several occasions, President Lungu, in his quest to guarantee the growth of the nation has opted for routes and decisions that promote peace.
As a Christian, he has utilised the biblical message of forgiveness, love and peace and focused more on steering the nation’s people towards forgiving each other, at the same time urging them to concentrate on making progress in terms of development. It is thus safe to assume that as he celebrates his birthday today, his heart is peacefully content and appreciative of the strides being made in different aspects of development.
“I was a Christian before I became a politician and that’s why I encourage Zambians not to be ashamed to preach peace and reconciliation,” he said recently.
Gifted with wisdom and a humble disposition, the head of State is not ashamed to seek the face of God whenever the country faces a crisis, as evidenced by his declaration of October 18 as a day of prayer and fasting.
Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) presiding Bishop Peter Ndhlovu notes that President Lungu has truly been a peace maker in the country and his message of love, peace and reconciliation has been well received by Zambians, especially the people on the grassroots, traditional leaders and the church.
Bishop Ndhlovu who wished the head of State God’s guidance as he clocks 61, said it is evidenced that people are beginning to refrain from violence and other vices because the President has been consistent in his message on love for one another.
“The President therefore should not stop preaching his message of peace, love and reconciliation in his tireless effort to unite Zambians,” he said.
Bishop Ndhlovu urged the President to draw inspiration from biblical accounts, especially the stories of kings and rulers of kingdoms who turned to God every time they were faced with calamity to find peace and comfort in God’s presence.
He said one of the many actions that Zambians should learn from President Lungu especially on a special day as he celebrates 61st birthday is that of uniting and interacting with people from all sectors of society regardless of their religious denomination.
President Lungu has been known to share sunday service in almost all Christian denominations across the country.
“Every day of our lives, we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us,” President Lungu said at Kabundi Kapisha, United Church in Chingola sometime in 2016. This he has continued to say at many other different gatherings countrywide.
He says all should remember that the people we meet in offices, parking lots and elevators are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve.
“The key for healing and transformation becomes a reality when people’s hearts open and embrace one another in unconditional love as demonstrated by Jesus Christ when he gave his own life for mankind,” he said.
As admonished by the head of State not to demean or belittle anyone, but rather show compassionate and encouragement, the church is elated by President Lungu’s call for love, peace and reconciliation.
United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Copperbelt region Bishop, Sydney Sichilima said the church is happy that President Lungu’s language is that which promotes peace love and unity in the country.
Bishop Sichilima said the President is a humble man who always speaks as a leader.
“The love you have shown is a magnet that draws all of us to you and people will follow you the way multitudes followed Jesus Christ,” Bishop Sichilima said.
Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) director Reverend Pukuta Mwanza agrees that President Lungu’s message of Love is indeed reaching the people.
“What is saddening, however, is the language that encourages violence being propagated by social media to divide the country,” Rev Mwanza said adding that it is important that Zambians take the head of State’s message on love, peace and reconciliation and put it in practice.
He said the President has also been exemplary in his actions as recently demonstrated at the October 18 prayer and fasting day where he led the first family in the presence of God.
He notes that regardless of the differences that people might be experiencing, the message of love, peace and reconciliation should be taken and acted upon by all people.
“Peace is a very important commodity for productivity of a nation. This birthday celebrations for President Lungu can be used to reconcile people and allow peace love and love to reign, “Rev. Mwanza said.
Reverend Mwanza wished President Lungu many years of the country’s prosperity and sustainable development.
He said President Lungu is known as a God fearing man who has dedicated his time and that of his country to God.
The Independent Church of Zambia (ICOZ) Chairman Bishop David Masupa wished President Lungu happy birthday and God’s blessing, and abundant life.
“We want to appreciate you Mr President for the message of unity you have been giving through the declaration of October 18 as a moment in God’s presence,” Bishop Masupa said.
He said the message of love, peace and reconciliation has been inculcated in many clergy who have mainstreamed the message in their Sunday sermons.
“We know that behaviour change takes time, but soon it will be realised and will become part and parcel of the Zambia people’s practice,” he said.
The church urges President Lungu not to relent but focus on building love, peace and reconciliation among the people, for the rewarder is God himself.