MMD president Nevers Mumba has proposed that the National Day of Prayer, fasting, repentance and forgiveness annually held on October 18 must continue to be observed and organised by the church.
The day was declared by former president Edgar Lungu in 2015 but many, including the Catholic Church, boycotted it on account that the PF administration was using it for political gain.
But Mumba, leader and founder of Victory Ministries International, said certain landmarks identifying Zambia as a Christian nation must never be tampered with.
He said the MMD under Frederick Chiluba was pivotal in declaring Zambia a Christian nation.
Mumba said the Christian nation declaration does not exist in any other Constitution on earth apart from Zambia.
He added that transitioning from one government to another was a difficult process as it raised anxiety, fear and people asked questions on what to continue with from the last regime and what to discard.
Mumba said he had submitted his position to President Hakainde Hichilema on the National Day of Prayer, fasting, forgiveness and reconciliation to the effect that it must be maintained.
He said based on what was declared in the preamble of the Constitution, Zambia was truly a Christian nation.
“As long as we have placed it in the Constitution, it is a testimony that that is our position as a people; a position that we have accepted and we have embraced on our own and therefore the responsibility to undergird it, to protect it, is our responsibility,” Mumba said. “Therefore, it is important for us to line our aspirations and our activities alongside the path of this declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.”
Mumba said a Christian nation was nothing but a name that “we have given to ourselves”.
He said with the declaration, Zambians had decided to honour God in their actions, behaviour, how they treat one another and in the manner they govern themselves.
“We shall follow the guidelines and principles of the word of God; that is love your neighbour as you love yourself, justice must be a major issue of debate in our country because that is just what Christianity is all about,” he said. “God is a God of justice. You cannot call yourself a Christian nation when at the back of everything you are injuring each other deliberately and wanting to betray justice for a group of people and making it available for the privileged few.”
Mumba said the Christian nation declaration, just like a human skeleton, must have landmarks upon which it hangs.
He quoted from Proverbs 22:28, which says “Do not remove the ancient landmarks that have been set forth by your forefathers.”
Mumba said he believed that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation without pillars upon which it rested became oratory and did not translate into something permanent.
“Israel is called a Jewish State, meaning that Judaism is the guiding light of that nation. And it has got some symbolisms that identify it as a Jewish State; the Star of David, the wailing wall or the western wall where people go to pray; the Temple Mountain,” Mumba explained. “Many were broken down but the western wall still remains and that’s where the children of Israel or the Jews go to worship their God from all over the world because that symbolises Jerusalem, the city of Godly power, the city of David.”
Mumba said every feast of Israel reminded Israelites and their generations of the interactions of God with their nation.
He said the Israeli landmarks were important for remembrance that Israel was a Jewish State.
He further explained that when the Children of Israel crossed into the promised land, they piled stones for a remembrance.
“It’s these landmarks that should never be removed. These landmarks remind future generations of who they are, that they are a people of God, the Jewish nation. Zambia declared itself a Christian nation and there are certain things we can compromise on and certain things we should never compromise on and this is not to be ashamed of calling ourselves Christians,” Mumba said. “Because if God is going to bless this nation, we must do it in a way to show that we are not ashamed to call ourselves believers. For instance, myself, I have been in the political process now for 24 years, I have never been shamed to call myself a Christian in my good time, in my time of success, time of failure, in my time of embarrassment and failure and in my time of great success. I will always lift up the name of Christ because as an individual I have chosen Christ as my Lord and Saviour.”
Mumba emphasised that at national level Zambia had chosen God as the leading light in its affairs and none should ever be ashamed of this.
Mumba added that he and others in MMD believed it was not necessary to remove the day of prayer and fasting.
“We have recommended that the day of prayer and fasting continues but we must all understand that while it continues there might be some variations depending on how this new government will like to go with it,’’ he added. ‘’But truly speaking, it’s not everything that was done by the last regime (PF) or the other regime of the MMD or even UNIP, not all of it was bad.”
Mumba said the Christian nation landmarks should never be tampered with.
He said recently he landed in Turkey, an Islamic State and the first thing to be heard were the calls to prayer.
“Zambia needs to take a leaf from that, that we are not ashamed of who God is, who Christ is, who we are as a Christian nation,” Mumba said.
He said unless they interfered with the country’s justice, landmarks of a Christian nation must be preserved.
On concerns that the last administration abused the National Day of Prayer, Mumba insisted that there was nothing evil about prayer and fasting.
He proposed that the prayer day be organised by the three church mother bodies – the Council of Churches in Zambia, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, and the Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops, who from its inception have never been a part.
And Mumba proposed that construction of the National House of Prayer must go ahead as it was well intended.
“There is nothing evil about it…it’s not an evil thing,” Mumba said.
He noted that the last regime divided the church, which should never be followed.
Mumba said anything bad that the PF did should be abandoned while embracing that which they did right and only work to perfect them.
And Mumba observed that the prayer offered in Parliament does not mention Jesus in its ending and seemed to contradict the preamble which boldly declares that Zambians were Christian.
He said he would write to the Speaker of the National Assembly to propose that prayer be done in the natural manner any Christian would pray.
“This type of prayer is the prayer that you find among nations that do not believe in anything, they believe in an all-general God without any direction on how to pray. This may sound sectarian but it’s not because of what’s in the Constitution,” said Mumba.