Editor's Comment

Church key in building moral fibre of society

ZAMBIA has in the recent years witnessed the unprecedented rise in a number of vices such as early marriages, gender-based violence, divorce, corruption, crime and so forth.
Not long ago, the nation went into deep shock after the Zambia Daily Mail published a story that over 8,000 divorce cases are being disposed of in Lusaka Province annually according to records from the provincial local court office.
In 2015, a total of 14,870 divorce cases were heard while a total of 8,552 were heard between January and September this year.
And now that we are commemorating 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV), the country has yet again come to reality with alarming statistics of GBV.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Kampamba Mulenga recently disclosed that Zambia has recorded 13,092 cases of GBV between January and September, 2016. Out of the 13,092 cases recorded 1,634 were defilement.
What is even more worrying is that instead of the vice declining, it has taken on a new twist where men, who were mostly perpetrators, have become victims.
It has become the order of the day to hear reports of men dying at the hands of their spouses.
Research also indicates that Zambia has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world with 31 percent of women aged 20-24 married by the age of 18.
And according to the Zambia 2015 Crime and Safety report, violent crime was the second highest crime statistic in the country, overtaken only by corruption and bribery.
It is not a secret that our society is also beset by other vices, such as prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse, disrespect for elders and many others.
These are all horrifying realities pointing to the degradation of our society’s moral fibre.
The Minster of Information and Broadcasting Services rightly observed that advocacy alone is not working out to end the GBV and there is need to explore other strategies.
We all know that a lot of money is pumped into various programmes year-in-year out to end GBV and its off-shoots.
Workshops are the order of the day in a bid to find solutions to our vexing challenges.
The sad reality is that despite these efforts by various stakeholders, the vice keeps on rising.
This connotes negatively on a country which professes to be a Christian nation.
We all know that the vices that have beset our country are as a result of low morals among many citizens.
The high rate of vices such as GBV and divorce is therefore an indication of moral bankruptcy among citizens.
It is for this reason that we support Vice-President Inonge Wina in calling on the church to partner with the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to help promote good morals and values in the country.
Ms Wina urged the Church and other faith-based organisations to take advantage of the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to strengthen the country’s status as a Christian nation.
The Church must strengthen its outreach programames to reach out to many lost souls.
Ministers of the gospel should also focus on transformative messages which build character of individuals as opposed to messages of prosperity.
The Church, through the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs should advocate for prayers to be re-introduced in public places such as schools.
Religious studies should also be reinforced in the school curriculum, especially at elementary level.
The state of society today points to the fact that the Church has a daunting task to restore sanity and uphold Zambia’s declaration as a Christian nation.

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