Pray for PF, Lungu urges church

MINISTER of Justice Edgar Lungu (left) and Patriotic Front member Emanuel Chilubanama during a church service for Evangelical Church of Zambia in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: ANGELA MWENDA.

MINISTER of Defence Edgar Lungu has called on the Church to pray for the Patriotic Front (PF) as it selects its candidate for the presidential election slated for January 20.
And PF Kabwata member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda has called on acting President Guy Scott and members of the central committee (MCCs) to resolve their differences and work together.
Mr Lungu, who is also Minister of Justice and a PF presidential aspirant, said the Church should pray for the ruling party so that it selects a leader who can continue to govern the country on Biblical principles.
He said this at the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) in Lusaka’s Chilenje where he went to fellowship yesterday.
Mr Lungu said Government regards the Church as a critical stakeholder which plays a vital role in promoting morality in the country.
“The Church should pray for the ruling party so that it selects a leader who can rule this nation on the principles of the Bible. The prayers should also be extended to other political parties.
“Without prayers, it is impossible for leaders to provide reliable and efficient leadership,” he said.
Mr Lungu also urged the Church to criticise the government where it goes wrong because it is open to correction.
He said the PF holds the church in high esteem and appreciates the relationship that exists between Government and the Church.
And former EFZ executive director Paul Mususu assured Government that the Church will continue praying for national leaders to foster development in Zambia.
Bishop Mususu said the Church is ready to pray for the government and believes that the PF government is going to develop Zambia as it seeks guidance from God.
He said the Church is ready to offer checks and balances, adding that through dialogue, any challenge can be overcome.
Bishop Mususu also called for peace and unity in the nation ahead of the presidential election.
“The ruling party should also lead by example by ensuring that there is peace and unity in the party. We are disappointed by what is happening in the PF,” he said in reference to intraparty wrangling.
And Mr Lungu said in an interview shortly after attending the church service that he is the people’s candidate as evidenced by the overwhelming support he is receiving from party members.
He said he is a popular candidate because he did not choose himself and that the support he is getting from 70 PF MPs and other party members is a clear demonstration that they want him to become party candidate for the presidential election.
And Mr Lubinda, who is also a PF presidential hopeful, said Dr Scott and all MCCs should reconcile to save the party from collapse.
“While we are fighting, opposition political parties are laughing at us, and they are working hard, campaigning for the presidential election,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the PF is embroiled in unnecessary squabbling and risks being the shortest-serving government in Africa with only three years in office.
He appealed to Dr Scott to unconditionally reinstate all the 16 suspended MCCs.
Mr Lubinda also appealed to the central committee to stand by its resolution of extending an olive branch to Dr Scott.
On the forthcoming PF general conference, Mr Lubinda said an independent body must be formulated to oversee the election because most of the MCCs have publicly declared support for particular candidates.
Meanwhile, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general Roy Mwaba says the infighting in the PF is disturbing and a cause of concern to many Zambians.
Mr Mwaba said yesterday that the death of President Sata should have united all members in the PF and caused them to work as one.
He said the two factions in the PF should agree to work together for the common good of their party.

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