IT is hypocritical for the PF and the National Dialogue Forum to use the Christian clause to convince ‘Christians’ to support NDF resolutions when they know that this amendment won’t change Zambia’s predisposition as far as religious freedoms are concerned, says Zuwa Sinkamba.
The National Democratic Congress director for policy research and analysis warned against supporting the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 10 based on the ‘Christian’ Clause.
He noted that the Patriotic Front government was trying to convince the Christian community in Zambia to support the NDF’s resolutions because of the removal of the “multi-religious clause” and replacing it with Christianity.
He however insisted that the PF reasoning for the suggested amendment was amiss, out of ignorance and a plot to have the “gullible” Christian community believe that the mere replacement of ‘Multi-religious’ with ‘Christian’ was reason enough to pass the Constitution (Amendment) bill 10 of 2019.
“For those who have not read the Constitution, the clause states that: ‘Recognise and uphold the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our nation and our right to manage our affairs and resources sustainably in a devolved system of governance.’ The proposed amendment to the preamble in paragraph 7 will read as follows: ‘Recognise and uphold the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, Christian and multicultural character of our nation and our right to manage our affairs and resources sustainably in a devolved system of governance’,” Sinkamba said.
“To say the least, it’s a hoax and a smoke screen and here is why: There are declarations in paragraph 2 and 3 of the preamble that will remain unchanged even if the Constitution is amended by the replacement of the word ‘Multi-religious’ with the word ‘CHRISTIAN’. These include: 1. “Declare the Republic of Zambia a Christian Nation while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion;” 2. “Uphold the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person…What is freedom of conscience, belief or religion? Freedom of conscience is the right to follow one’s own beliefs in matters of religion and morality. Freedom of conscience is sometimes called freedom of worship or religious freedom – simply meaning, the freedom to worship in one’s own way, including the right not to worship.”
Sinkamba said upholding a person’s right to belief simply means having the right to belong to any religion or change religion at any time, or even come up with your own religion.
He said the right to religion simply means every religious grouping must be protected and not discriminated under the basis of religion, whether Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist, Muslim, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormons, Watchtower, the Baha’i Faith, and whatever non-Christian religion is being practiced in Zambia.
“If the above Article remains unchanged, it simply means that even if you replace ‘multi-religious’ with ‘Christian’, our Constitution will still recognise and uphold the multi-religious character of our nation,” Sinkamba said. “Those of us who do not subscribe to this needless amendment and subsequent rejection of the Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019 are being branded as anti-Christian, supporters of gay rights and non-believers. The two amendments that will remain unchanged are vital because God has given each individual the ineligible right to worship Him according to the dictates of our conscience.
This is the more reason why even in christianity we have different faiths. The ability to have freedom of choice has been espoused since the Garden of Eden as God gave the right to choose.”
Sinkamba said Christians, understood that “we can never force someone or even by declaration for someone to receive Christ as their Lord and Saviour.”
“Our duty is to preach and let the Holy Spirit do the conviction. Despite having declared Zambia a Christian nation as our identity, we cannot outlaw other non-Christian religions or non-Pentecost religions. It is unchristian for us to forcefully compel people to believe in our faith, as God cannot do that as well. This is why the two paragraphs were unchanged,” said Sinkamba.
“It is merely hypocritical for the PF and NDF to use the Christian clause to convince Christians to support the NDF resolutions when they know that this amendment will not change the predisposition of our country as far as religious freedoms are concerned. This is in fact evil and unbiblical. Proponents of the NDF are hiding behind sheepskin, like Pharisees and Sadducees. Proclaiming the Christian clause when the PF’s agenda is to amass power, desecrate our Constitution, and democratic system. The fact is that the motive is ill and aimed at convincing many Zambians and Christians into supporting the bill on the pretext that it is in the interest of the nation when in fact not.