Edgar Lungu messed up our Easter. Instead of focusing, reflecting and meditating on the Easter messages, our attention was turned to his brutality and tyranny.
There is no normal, sensitive and humane Zambian who could ignore Edgar’s arrest and detention of Hakainde Hichilema and many others during the Holy week of Easter.
This reminded us of how another ruthless tin-pot dictator, Frederick Chiluba, arrested Dr Kenneth Kaunda on trumped up treason charges on the Holy day of Christmas in 1997. Chiluba messed up out Christmas that year as we could not ignore the injustices that were being committed against an innocent man.
Easter is an extremely important time for Christians and we wonder why Edgar who is visiting churches every Sunday could not wait until after Easter to carry out his evil schemes. We say who visits churches every Sunday because there is a difference between going to pray and attending church service to boost up one’s political fortunes. Edgar doesn’t go to church to pray. There is no man of prayer who can be so evil as to arrest a political opponent on trumped up treason charges during such an extremely important time for Christians.
Instead of making our Easter a time to focus on Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and his resurrection and what it means to us, our minds and attention were turned to Edgar’s tyranny, repression and injustices. What was supposed to be a time for all Christians in our country to reflect on their faith became a time for despair and wondering where their country was headed.
Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal and new life, but Edgar turned our Easter into a symbol of despair.
Easter that was meant to be a rebirth out of spiritual adversity and cause us to be new creatures, Edgar turned it into something else – something horrible.
Instead of turning our minds and attention to how God proved his love on the cross, our minds and attention were turned on Edgar’s hatred, cruelty and vindictiveness. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’ Edgar turned all this into a time for the exhibition not of love but hatred.
Easter reminds us of the fact that a man who was completely innocent offered himself as a complete sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was the perfect act which deserved our deep reflections and meditation. Edgar turned our minds and attention from all this.
Easter is a time when God shows us that he loves each of us as if we were only one of us. Edgar turned all this into a time of hate, vindictiveness and not love and tolerance.
What was supposed to be a wonderful week to celebrate all Christ has done for us became a time of despair, resentment and confusion in our lives.
Easter should be a time of reflection and joy, a time when we emerge from our cocoon of doubt to fly freely on the wings of faith. Edgar changed all this and turned it into a nightmare.
However, we were consoled by Pope Francis’ Easter message in which he denounced “oppressive regimes”. And in an apparent call for restraint, Pope Francis urged world leaders to prevent the spread of conflicts. Pope Francis spoke of God walking beside all those forced to leave their homes as a result of conflicts and oppressive regimes.
In the complex of the dramatic of situations of today’s world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace. May He grant the leaders of the nations the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts, – said Pope Francis.
This is the culmination of the Gospel, it is the Good News par excellence: Jesus, who was crucified is risen! This event is the basis of the Christian faith and its hope. If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew.
The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death. This is what Easter is all about and not the repression, brutalisation of political opponents that Edgar deliberately diverted our minds and attention to over Easter.
Easter also teaches us that you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. And this is something that Edgar should quickly learn.
We conclude by asking the Lord to comfort those who have been removed from their homes, offering them hope for a better future and the possibility of living their lives in dignity.