Saint Anne’s Cathedral Parish priest in Chipata Diocese Father Christopher Sakala has implored Christians to break the silence when they see wrong things happening in society.
In his sermon during mass on Sunday, Fr Sakala said to be a Christian was to act in obedience to God.
“We don’t want to get involved as Christians. Most of the times we see wrong things happening, we see people getting involved in corrupt activities, we see people banking huge chunks of money. We don’t know where they get that money from but they are not doing any business,” he said. “What do we say: ‘let me keep quiet, let me not get involved.’ We see people stealing drugs in hospitals, clinics, we see people committing adultery but we keep quiet. We see teachers sometimes not teaching, we see a priest getting lazy not visiting the Christians but we keep quiet…It also happens in our homes. We see this man defiling a niece. The wife says ‘men are like that, I can’t report to the police. Men are just like that, let me just keep quiet.’ It does also happen sometimes in our society when people are looking for employment, this boss says ‘yes I can give you work, I can employ you but first let me sleep with you’ and since you want work, you are so desperate you give in. This is happening in our offices but instead of reporting that boss to the police, what do we do? We end up sleeping with that boss. But where is your conscience?”
These things are happening and we agree with Fr Sakala’s advice to break the silence.
Our people should realise that silence is not golden when things are rotting in our nation.
Nothing will change if the community remains silent to evils taking place every day.
It takes citizens, individuals to effect change, for change is not given – it is fought for.
Corruption escalates in a society that eulogizes the corrupt. Crime becomes a norm in a society that praises thieving – a society that sees people who have acquired wealth via proceeds of crime as role models.
The ills prevalent in our society today will not go away with a silent community.
Silence in the midst of evil, tyranny, maladministration and any form of injustice is poison.
Just like good governance and poverty eradication cannot be effective if both leaders and the led are not actively involved.
For instance, in a post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, the global community has observed that effective governance, at whatever geographical or political level, cannot be brought about while extreme poverty exists. It is recommended that all thought and discussion on governance must begin by examining how to reintegrate all people, without exception, into the social dialogues which take place within communities, as well as both nationally and internationally.
Therefore, families and individuals living in extreme poverty should aspire to play an active role in creating effective and fair forms of governance.
Their participation not only counteracts the stigmatisation faced by impoverished communities, but also improves the impact and sustainability of the policies and programmes designed to address their needs and encourage development.
We must recognise that fair and effective governance relies on an active and informed citizen body. We should know that active citizenship not only reinforces social bonds, but also encourages accountability and transparency and protects fundamental rights.
There’s need to break the silence and end impunity at all levels of society.