(By Melony Chisanga and Oliver Chisenga)
I WISH God would say ‘may I take all these leaders, including myself, to go and sleep in death and raise a young generation to take up leadership’, says Bishop John Mambo. In an interview, Bishop Mambo said President Edgar Lungu’s government was alarming the nation by accusing Hakainde Hichilema of having incited ZAFFICO riots.
He said today Zambia was hurting.
Bishop Mambo said the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation was hypocritical owing to what was happening in the country.
He said in a Christian nation, people and the Church must have more say on issues that affect them.
“In Zambia we have gone a step further. We have declared this country as a Christian nation; where is the Christianity? It’s total hypocrisy by the leadership that I have seen. I wish God would say may I take all these leaders, including myself, to go and sleep in death and raise a young generation to take up leadership because we have not seen the young Obamas!” Bishop Mambo said.
“In this country, which is a Christian nation, we must have more say than anyone else. Powers must be drawn from the Church but we have surrendered the powers. We want to be told by the government when to pray, when to fast but that is not working. So the whole thing that is unhealthy.”
Bishop Mambo said Zambia was becoming a laughing stock because it had failed to embrace the tenets of democracy.
He said Zambians did not hate the Chinese but their attitude towards the locals.
“State House also has got one demon; once you enter State House you forget that one day you will be out of that house. When you are out [of power], you can have all the billions of kwachas [but] you will have no friends,” he said. “You are ever afraid to walk in the streets of Freedom Way because of your attitude. President Edgar Lungu needs people that can tell him to say ‘look people are crying, you can’t say the riots on the Copperbelt where the sawmillers and those that have been working for ZAFFICO took to the streets saying it’s HH’. Already you are alarming the nation.”
Bishop Mambo said Zambians were not foolish.
He said what had brought about the suspicion over ZAFFICO was the alleged subdividing of the forest with beacons with Chinese inscriptions.
“What has brought suspicion, we are not fools, if you brought the Chinese to come and put the beacons in the Chinese language, it means they have absolute right because you can’t subdivide a company that you are going to list at the stock exchange,” he said.
“What I am saying is that on ZAFFICO, like any other company… I was a member of those who privatised companies, I was with ZPA [Zambia Privatisation Agency]. At that time, it was lobbying, we didn’t just do it…. Even the lies that you are just telling people, why don’t you ask the people who were part of the privatisation process to say what happened? Now you are calling people names. I happened to have privilege to serve under the ZPA, so I know what took place.”
Bishop Mambo said the ZAFFICO issue was not being handled properly.
“Just Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, NRDC [National Resources Development College], these are things that President Lungu needs to give members of the press an audience, time to respond to the many questions that the people are asking,” Bishop Mambo said. “Have a thick skin by coming out. Zambia today [is] hurting.”