HAKAINDE Hichilema and the entire team should hit the ground running because there is no time, advises Bishop John Mambo.
He is also urging Hichilema to abolish the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs and reassign the money to improving the Social Cash Transfer, strengthen agriculture and the mining sector.
Hichilema scooped the presidency in the August 12, 2021 election with a landslide vote polling 2.8 million votes against Edgar Lungu’s 1.9 million.
The Chikondi Foundation president and former Church of God general overseer, likened the feeling of the UPND victory to the independence celebrations on October 24, 1964.
He said in the last seven years Zambia has had the worst regime.
He said if Zambians countrywide had not said ‘enough is enough to PF’, the next five years would have turned the country into a Banana Republic.
“We thank God that we still have people that we can count to have integrity, people like the president of the Socialist Party, Dr [Fred] M’membe who was among the first to concede defeat, people like Sean Tembo, Nevers Mumba and others, who buried their differences and said yes, we did run the race but we did not make it but for the good of Zambia, change is wanted,” he said. “What now remains for us people of Zambia is to examine our hearts, especially the hypocrites who came from the Church, prophets of doom who did not want to speak for the voiceless because they wanted the pieces of silver and gold.”
Bishop Mambo prayed that President-elect Hichilema should focus on rebuilding the nation and advised him to embrace everyone.
“Time for vengeance we leave it to God and we will advise him. He is very wise, he is a listening person, he will listen. We have suffered,” he said.
Bishop Mambo said the new government should not talk about vengeance but punish those found wanting in order to stop the rot.
“Whether it’s me or anybody, they have to be accountable without vengeance because you can’t have someone refusing a life audit. All of a sudden this person didn’t have a house in Kalingalinga, now has a mansion in New Kasama worth billions…Now when you marry that with their salary, it’s not there (not matching),” he said. “It has given appetite to many people to start stealing. The institutions of good governance have to be overhauled because people were hired on partisan considerations.”
Bishop Mambo said the UPND government should not repeat the PF wrongs.
“Their [PF] constitution reduced everybody to be a cadre and ensured that everybody that is hired, including judges have to align themselves to the ruling party, no! We have elected a government and that government is no longer UPND – it’s a government of the Republic of Zambia. Hakainde Hichilema is a president of the people. We need to unite this country,” he said.
Bishop Mambo said the report on causes of violence after the 2016 general elections must be made public.
“It is ugly, a country like ours, from us clergy to people with brown envelopes and whatever, we are saying hypocrites must be done away with. We should embrace each other. The issue of tribe, no!” he said. “And Chinese also, they should now be brought to their right position where they should know that they are in a country where if you are in China you do what Chinese do. Here they are behaving like its heaven on earth.”
Bishop Mambo proposed that those establishing companies in the country must always partner with Zambians.
He said the damage by the previous regime should be repaired.
“It should not be by ‘I will fix it’ and so forth, no,” Bishop Mambo said. “People must see action taking place. In short, HH, the entire team should hit the ground running because there is no time,” Bishop Mambo said.
He said Zambians, through the election, had shown that they would not give a president who would not deliver.
He said President Edgar Lungu took Zambians to be docile.
On the Church, Bishop Mambo said it should not be used as Jesus industry.
He said church leaders should never give up their positions because of silver and gold.
Bishop Mambo said he and other clergymen like Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu had been called names but history was on their side.
He suggested that the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs should be abolished and money reassigned to improving the Social Cash Transfer, strengthen agriculture, the mining sector.
“President Hakainde Hichilema, I am advising him now. He should disband it completely. You don’t regulate the Church. To start with, it was stubbornness. Zambia was already declared as a Christian nation but we were behaving like pagans,” Bishop Mambo said.
He said the three church mother bodies were enough and capable to run churches in the country.
Bishop Mambo said Reverend Godfridah Sumaili made things worse because she was dancing to whatever President Lungu wanted.
“The Catholics, for HH to be in State House, they contributed immensely in terms of voting but they are one Church which said we don’t want this Ministry but because of stubbornness Lungu went ahead and even challenged them,” he noted. “So just to show respect, we have got a better way of doing things. [Frederick] Chiluba had a desk of religious affairs. So he (Hichilema) can create something that can coordinate, not a fully-fledged ministry.”
Bishop Mambo said the reason why politicians had lost respect for the Church was that the latter had sold its soul just like trade unions.
“A church is like a hospital of all sicknesses, those who are righteous and so forth,” he said.
Bishop Mambo suggested for President Hichilema to address issues of payment of retirees benefits and longstanding gratuities for some workers.
“And the Judiciary also should put their house in order. Lungu, to start with, was not supposed to run because the Constitution says so. He had to bend it in an unknown way,” said Bishop Mambo.