The most credible and well placed people to call for a National prayer for reconciliation and dialogue are the Catholic Bishops led by His Grace Tresphore Mpundu.The Zambian Catholic Church’s stance on social justice, family values and fair play is unflinching, unequivocal, uncompromising and absolutely transparent and has stood the test of time.
The Catholic Church in Zambia has always sided with the poor, the marginalized and the abused. This history is well documented through uncompromising patriotic activities of clerics like late Bishop De Jong of Ndola, late Bishop Duffy of Mongu and Father Miha of Luanshya.
The recent past has seen a Head of State threatening and mocking the Church’s position on the deteriorating state of affairs in the Nation, through increased institutional intolerance, cronyism, nepotism, political violence, abuse of public resources through corruption and dictatorship. Despite this high handedness by the State, the Catholic Bishops remained resolutely resolved, firm and fearless until the State realized the futility in being unreasonable, arrogant and lavish in dealing in matters of good governance and fair play.
On the other hand, Bishop Joshua Banda and his group are politically inclined and laced with ethnic prejudices that has roots with corruption and love for money. Joshua Banda was mute when a citizen lost his freedom for 127 days after a brutal military assault on his family compound that was filled with family members that included his wife and children.
If Bishop Banda had political leanings based on ethnic considerations against HH, as a person whose sacred duty is to win souls and respect family values, he should have at least spoken against the State harassment of Hichilema’s wife who’s not a politician.
Africa has a lot of examples of dictators that attempted to atone their ugly sins by building monstrous Cathedrals to hoodwink people and buy their way into the realms of heaven. Felix Bougney of Ivory Coast built a Vatican replica in the jungle city of Yammasouko to purchase holiness and humility. Our own Dr Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda built the David Universal Temple in Lusaka where it was expected that every citizen would be welcome to worship God there.
The project to build a Cathedral initiated by a politician who has a split and multiple personality syndrome between being ‘humble’ and holy on one hand and unforgiving and brutal on the other hand, presents Bishop Joshua Banda who’s leading the idea, a fatal shot at his tainted image.
The nobility of calling for prayer is distinguished profound and well meaning. But can you imagine Pontius Pilate calling for fasting, reconciliation and peace among the people of his day. That’s how I view Joshua Banda. He is a discredited hypocritical Pastor that requires very serious introspection on his life and one wonders how he has kept his Northmead Assembly of God Church which was once known for its spiritual prudence and love for worship of one true God.