NATHAN Chanda’s mediocrity and lies will land President Lungu in trouble very soon, says Democratic Party Copperbelt chairman John Mulenga. In a statement, Mulenga said it was shameful for Chanda, who is Copperbelt PF chairman and Luanshya Mayor, to defend what the President said towards the Catholic Church. In a rebuke that has widely been held a veiled attack on the Catholic Church, President Lungu said he was not ashamed to challenge the clergy that felt holier than others.
The President said having a big cathedral or a synagogue did not make some churches bigger than others. President Lungu made the remarks at Christ the King International Church in Ndola’s Nkwazi township.
“I have been touched by the sermon this morning that we should worship God in truth and spirit. I will challenge the Zambian church,” said President Lungu.
“I am saying this because on 1st May 2019 during Labour Day celebration, as we were talking to each other with some labour leaders, one leader said the Church was not at the National Dialogue Forum and I said ‘which church?’ This is because some people think they are the Church. The Church is all of us who are believers in Christ.”
But Fr Joseph Mukuka of Kitwe said President Lungu used the innuendos of Synagogues and beautiful cathedrals to attack the Catholic Church. And Kalaba, a former foreign affairs minister, said President Lungu’s “arrogance” towards the Church was very artificial. He encouraged the Church to take President Lungu on and show him in 2021 that he is irrelevant to Zambia’s political discourse. Kalaba expressed surprise that President Lungu had the audacity to pour scorn on the three church mother bodies who did not attend the National Dialogue Forum.
“He accused them of playing holy…. I was dumbfounded. He shouldn’t speak that language because he is the President. What he should do is to ensure that he bridges the divide, that might exist, even within the body of Christ so that the Church doesn’t seem to operate as different bodies. It’s one! So to want to divide the body of Christ is not correct, especially coming from the Head of State,” said Kalaba.
“President Lungu’s problem is that he did not know when to say what, how to say what, where to say what.”
But Chanda on Saturday, in reaction to Kalaba’s sentiments, said the ruling party found the former Bahati member of parliament’s “lying that President Edgar Lungu insulted the Catholic Church and priests as cheap and unfounded.”
“Mr Harry Kalaba should immediately stop misleading the Catholic Faithful that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu Insulted the Catholic Church. The Church is not ground for Cheap Politics,” Chanda stated.
“We expect Mr Kalaba, who claims to be a clean man to be saying the truth. We know the desperation he is in. We fully understand the frustrations that Mr Harry Kalaba is going through. But to continue lying that President Lungu insulted the Catholic Church is to childish and baseless. We want to remind Mr Kalaba that his desperation will not take him anywhere. He is too small to divide the Catholic Church just because of his cheap political expediency.”
Chanda stated that Kalaba wanted is to incite and divide the Catholics to rise against President Lungu through his calculated lies.
“The Catholic Church, just like any other denomination in Zambia will be respected by the PF party and our Party President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. To put the record straight, President Lungu never mentioned any Church or indeed the Catholic Church when the Head of State attended a Church Service in Ndola recently,” stated Chanda. “As a Faithful Catholic member l want to challenge, Mr Harry Kalaba who claims that he had attended missionary and wanted to be a Catholic Priest, to learn to say the truth if truly he passed through Catholic missionary or any formation which l doubt because of his un Catholic and un Christian behavior of telling Lies.”
But Mulenga stated that the arrogance and dullness exhibited by Chanda showed the kind of mediocre leadership, which was “leading the good people of Zambia.”
“To see Nathan Chanda gain courage and shamelessly defend the statement that the Republican President made towards the Catholic Church shows the kind of people that are surrounding the President and the kind of advice they give him,” he stated.
“To try and paint president Harry Kalaba, who only in the spirit of brotherhood advised President Lungu to not overstep boundaries and drag men in cloth into politics as bad is unbelievable.”
He stated that instead of advising President Lungu to own up not only to his wrong statement but his undermining words towards the Catholic Church and apologise to the men of the cloth, Chanda defended what was wrong.
“When one insults men in the cloth it means he has insulted the church at large. People like Nathan Chanda are the characters that have brought shame to the office of the President because of advising the Republican President wrongly. They keep singing praises in his ears and telling him lies in order to remain in favour even when the wrong is in black and white,” Mulenga stated.
“Therefore, we would like to advise Nathan Chanda to use his negative energy somewhere else and never to drag our president in his cheap politics. The best he should do is try to be a good boy to the President by telling him the truth. Further, Nathan Chanda should know what was said will not be forgotten or rubbed off by his cheap defence but by President Lungu taking up the appeal made to him by president Harry Kalaba to apologise to the church.”