MMD leader Nevers Mumba says politics have stunted the growth of an excellent idea of prayer, fasting, repentance and reconciliation. Reflecting on the October 18 holiday of prayer, fasting, repentance and reconciliation, Mumba, founder of Victory Ministries International, stated that the event had been controversial from the beginning.
“Although Zambia is a Christian nation and prides herself as a country in submission to God, the introduction of the day of prayer and fasting had a rough start. Politics have stunted the growth of an excellent idea. In a politically polarised environment, the event assumed a partisan face and discouraged those from the other political divide; mostly the opposition political parties,” Mumba stated.
“This event was initially couched in great anticipation that the deeply divided and polarised political mood in the nation could be diffused on this day.”
Mumba recalled attending the inaugural prayer event but was filled with sadness that the nation could miss a ‘God moment’ for national healing and reconciliation as the opposition were left out.
“Speaker after speaker, they were all from our classic Pentecostal background, a thing which should have made me very proud as a lot of the preachers were my sons and daughters in the Lord, but this was supposed to be a national event with an inclusive outlook. The songs and prayers were all conducted in our own Pentecostal way,” Mumba stated
He stated that the event had never been used to reconcile the political leaders.
“It is true that not all opposition leaders were in attendance but I saw Mr Elias Chipimo representing Narep and myself who was representing the MMD. If the goal was for reconciliation, we could have stood in proxy for those who were absent. It was this process that made many people to conclude that the event was probably a partisan affair,” he stated.
“Having said all this, I wish to affirm my respect for the event itself in so much as it attempts to exalt the name of Jesus over the nation. It remains the responsibility of the organisers to depoliticise the event and ensure that all sectors of our society feel welcome and recognised as stakeholders in the healing process of our nation.”
Mumba stated that the idea of national prayer should be redeemed.
“We must redeem the great idea of national prayer by changing the programe and give it a national outlook. This year’s national prayer day is extremely critical against the backdrop of so much stress and contradiction amongst many Zambians. The event if handled well can be a game changer in resolving the extreme divide in the nation. The invitation list must be reviewed. The preachers’ list must be reviewed. The hymn sheet must be reviewed and the atmosphere must be conducive for all to worship. Then the word of the Lord shall come to pass, ‘If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14),” stated Mumba.
“When these concerns are considered, I will be the first one to extend an invitation to all my colleagues in the political world to present ourselves before the Lord on that day.”
The UPND and the NDC have boycotted the even which they say is hypocritical in the absence of reconciliation.