This is not the Zambia we want – Fr Chikoya

Emmanuel Chikoya

This is not the Zambia we want – Fr Chikoya

By Thomas Ngala

THE Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has said the redeployment of the former chief registrar of societies Thandiwe Mhende raises more questions than answers especially since this development was proceeded by office searches and police callouts.

CCZ general secretary Emmanuel Chikoya urged the government to uphold the rule of law not just by lip service but by walking the talk.

“We cannot talk about development if we will say one thing and do the complete opposite,” he said in a statement.

Fr Chikoya said political leaders should remember to prioritise the well-being of their constituents, act with integrity, and follow the rule of law as prescribed in the Zambian Constitution.

He said they should endeavour to represent the interests of the people and not their own.

“The political field should not be muddy, less it will be suffocated and make the country ungovernable,” Fr Chikoya warned. “CCZ is taken aback to learn of the many civil servants who have been transferred and redeployed and, in some cases, sent on leave because they were perceived not to be supporting or sympathising with the ruling party. This is not the Zambia we want, and this is not the rule of law we have longed for. We urge office bearers to check their consciousness and defend the law as established.”

He also said the continued trend of political party cadres making threats and unnecessary protests at the expense of respecting those in authority is uncalled for.

Fr Chikoya said one wonders where the cadres get such powers, and why the police are selective in slapping the law on such lawbreakers.

“Political parties must be issue-based in their campaigns and market themselves without resorting to violence and intimidation of opponents. All political parties should live as brothers and sisters in love and unity despite their political affiliations. CCZ therefore, calls on the political leaders to tame their cadres and to walk the talk by living by what they say. Cadres just like any other citizens should not take the law into their own hands but instead report any anomaly to relevant institutions for action,” he said.

Fr Chikoya also addressed matters surrounding the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

“CCZ notes with concern the challenges around the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) that has continued to witness farmers complaining of inadequate inputs and in some cases forced to share inputs,” he said.

On the fight against corruption, Fr Chikoya said CCZ is also worried about the selective way the fight against coruption is being undertaken.

“We demand that all citizens should be treated fairly and that no one should be above the law,” he said.

He called on the government not to use the police to fight political battles.

Fr Chikoya said the continued unprofessional conduct of using state security wings to fight political opponents also sends a wrong reputation on the democracy of the nation.

“While we do not agree with ill sentiments from some political players that cause tension and division in the country, we call for professional conduct of the police service as they manage such incidences. The conduct particularly on Sean Tembo, Fred M’membe, Given Lubinda, and Raphael Nakacinda among other political players is uncalled for. Let us firmly plant, nature and promote human dignity as this will enhance our democratic reputation as a country,” he said.

Fr Chikoya expressed solidarity with the statements by the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), and Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) that have equally spoken to matters of public interest.

He called on the government to pay attention and take heed of the advice rather than being defensive.

“The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) believes an unhealthy political and social environment can have detrimental effects on a country, potentially leading to challenges in governance. When a nation faces widespread issues such as corruption, social unrest, economic inequality, a healthy political and social environment typically involves factors like the rule of law, transparent institutions, respect for human rights, and civic engagement. These elements contribute to stability and enable governments to address challenges and meet the needs of their citizens. Conversely, when these factors are compromised it can lead to dissatisfaction among the population, erode trust in institutions, and create an environment that is more difficult to live in,” said Fr Chikoya. “The CCZ reiterates its concerns around matters of national interest such as shrinking democratic space, increase in cost of living, and the continued arrests of opposition political party members. These issues have been spoken to publicly and privately through engagements with the government particularly State House and concerned stakeholders, a situation that has prompted reactions through pastoral letters and press statements as captured in the end-of-year note issued on 2nd January 2023 among other press releases.”- The Mast


  1. Some of you Fathers have a problem, a big one for that matter. Do you want a Zambia where there is lawlessness, where people are being gasses, killed? You are the people who are killing our growing democracy. In democracy we don’t have a situation where everyone will be satisfied and there is no time when people will stop complaining. If people could complain and can complain to God, what more to a fellow man? Those people who are being arrested commit different cases in the name politics and are not immune to prosecution but most of their offenses have nothing to do with the democratic space. You offend, you are arrested, you don’t offend, you remain free. If you are observant, they are the same people being arrested every time, and the question is, why the same people always? They also have the same agenda of tarnishing the image of the government and are happy that they are getting support from some of you people. Can’t you see how free Chilufya Tayali is now, who arrests him any more? If others also follow suit, the same thing can happen to them. Why are others not arrested, because they are law abiding, period.


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