[April 26, 2020]
[See ZambianEye report on this article]
There are rumors the Zambian president has directed that churches open in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. State House (Zambian Government House) has, however, “clarif[ied] that His Excellency, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, has not directed churches to open. In his address to the nation on Friday, the President said; ‘I have decided that some activities such as the following may continue being undertaken normally subject to adhering to public health regulations, guidelines and certification…”
Africa, Zambia, included, is, of all continents, the least prepared and the least-resourced to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19). Zambia is not capable of fighting the pandemic. There are not enough, equipped hospitals. There are less well-trained specialized physicians. There is no SafetyNet to provide healthcare and treatment. And there are not enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ventilators to aid in the combat against Covid-19, should it invade Zambia full throttle. The best remedy to Covid-19 in Zambia is prevention. Nothing more.
Through social distancing, closure of worship centres, closure of contact businesses and sports and any such similarly-situated activities, the nation will be better placed than otherwise to defeat the pandemic. The disease has not reached its apex in Zambia – and this is the best time to take all necessary precautions to limit its spread. Coronavirus is already in Zambia, and that is the danger of it. That once it comes, it can only be stopped by either people not coming in contact or by people knowing their statuses so that they can either self-isolate or be quarantined. A church, a congregation, provides contact or proximal association for people. It is by design a breeding ground for the spread of Covid-19. It does not take revelation or rocket science to know this. And the Government of Zambia know this very well. To make matters worse, Zambian churches may not have enough masks, available water sources and enough sanitary disinfectants to brace against the communalism of more than fifty persons in one place.
The president may be ill-advised, or even threatened by some religious figures that God would not allow His people to be infected because of Bible injunctions that inform on drinking poison and not dying. Such would be misinterpretation and misunderstanding of Scriptures. The president could, similarly, have been influenced by political or religious figures in Zambia who depend on the goodwill and the congregation of the people to collect offerings, which due to Covid-19 restrictions, may be running out. Such reasoning may be reasonable, but is inimical to the wellbeing and good health of the people. The danger of leaving churches open is that it will expose widely the entire nation to Covid-19, not only to those who will be congregating. People in those meetings will infect each other and then take the infection further to other people they will interact with in mini-buses, marketplaces and homes.
The Zambian government should act boldly, resolutely and decisively and stop all church meetings of a certain number. But it should also provide short-term financial relief to pastors and priests in full-time employment. Pastors and priests should also act wisely and creatively and invent smart ways of continuing preaching and collecting some money from their congregation. But there is a caveat: Don’t collect money from people who have no financial sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some churches should consider meeting the payroll needs of some of their smaller branches through the saving reserves they have amassed in good, non-Covid-19 pandemic times.
No government should foolishly subject its people to the pandemic. No church leader should demand physical meetings during this time. Prayer for the pandemic to end should continue in homes and online. Covid-19 shall surely end, with God’s intervention as well as through the intelligence of science. But until then, church building-gatherings should remain closed to the public.
"Politicians don't directly create wealth, they manage available resources. But they directly influence and create policy through legislation (in democratic countries, at least) so that citizens can create wealth. You don't have to expect that Kaunda, or Chiluba or Mwanawasa or Rupiah or Sata or Lungu is going to suddenly bring wealth. However, politicians should create an "enabling environment" to empower the people to creatively manipulate resources and make wealth for themselves (businesses) and others (employment). The error we have made in Zambia, for example, is that we expect government to create jobs for us. This stagnates wealth creation and makes poverty a natural consequence. Anyone who depends on government for wealth will not be rich, unless corruption is encouraged." - Charles Mwewa
The three problems identified that Zambia faces today, in order of priority, according to the responses received at Charles Mwewa's forum are: (1) Lack of exemplary, creative and progressive leadership; (2) Rampant, uncontrolled and political corruption; and (3) Unwillingness of qualified, competent and people with new ideas to get involved in national governance in order to provide solutions to such vices as poverty, undemocratic tendencies, ignorance and etc.
What is the most urgent type of leadership Zambia needs? The most critical kind of political leadership Zambia needs is a BRIDGE-GAP LEADERSHIP (a short-term goal leadership to usher in a leadership with a long-term mandate). In 5 years, this leadership should enact policies and systems that are meant to first change the national mindset towards things like responsibility, diligence, care for nature and environment, investment, order, a mentality that rejects the current poverty state (policies that make poverty a crime against human rights), and etc. Then the next 5 years, set up an agenda that empowers every Zambian to gain a responsible free, basic education that is quality enough to enable them to read, write and solve basic social problems; create a competitive economic environment that enables employment creation and business incentivised support system that forces everyone to obtain gainful employment or sustainable businesses; healthcare that is relatively accessible or free for the most killer but preventable diseases like malaria, AIDS, and etc.; and a government with zero-tolerance policy on corruption, lethargy, tribalism and nepotism.
Pray & Do for Zambia
If you are praying today in Zambia, pray that God gives your political leaders wisdom and courage to provide an environment that is pro-economic growth. And pray, too, that the citizens begin to DO something with their plenty of time they have to create wealth for themselves - and not simply lazying there waiting for handouts!
Same Old Leaders, Same Old Results
What happens if government after government, president after president make promise after promise and repeatedly advance the country not even an inch? Why do Zambians keep voting for the same people, who achieve nothing, and leave the nation worse than they found it? Can you call that governance or leadership?
Power, by its design, has four major weaknesses. Any leader, whether in politics, religion, social or any other persuasion of life, will have to guard against these four pitfalls:
1. NOT LISTENING: This is the first weakness of Power. It is also the first sign that a leader has started to be corrupted by Power. They are not there yet, but they have entered the path to self-destruction, autocratic tendencies, and self-belief. When a leader stops to listen to advisers, spouse, colleagues and the people, they have begun on a road to corruption.
2. FLATTERY: This is the second stage to corruption. It is the sign that you are moving from responsible Power into absolute or autocratic Power. It begins by looking for, and sometimes, soliciting flattery. Such leaders will like to hear only what they want. The trouble begins when they can’t or don’t hear what they want to hear. Everyone else not sharing their opinions or point of view is an enemy, and must be isolated or ostracized.
3. PRIDE: Pride and flattery are related, only that Pride is deeper and more ruthless. Pride is the third stage to Power corruption. When power becomes Pride, it closes all opportunities to other points of view and only considers its own as legitimate. At this stage, it eliminates opposition, refuses to listen to reason and becomes conceited. When Power is Pride, people are nothing but things to be used to reach the leader’s ends. Power, at this stage, believes it is always right. Usually, at this stage, Power has corrupted a leader to the point of killing anyone who stands in their way.
4. CORRUPTION: The final stage of Power corruption. The regime, order, rule, church, and so on, at this stage, is ruined; it’s rotten to the core, usually irreversibly. Power, at this stage uses everything, including law, to reprise opponents (usually, at this stage, opposition is none-existent). Law becomes tyranny. Democratic or religious institutions become weapons of mass corruption. Common-sense becomes avaricious. Power doesn’t just kill, it kills at will, and sometimes, just on sheer speculation. The only way to reverse an absolute corrupt Power is to use mutiny, revolution or democratic mass protest that paralyses absolute Power.
Struggles for Independence
The Second Republic
Law Rule in Zambia
Human Rights in Zambia
Criminal Reform in Zambia
Church Politics in Zambia
The Clergy and Politics in Zambia
Zambian Church History
Christian Nation Politics
The Third Republic
Upper Middle-Income Vision
Universality of Corruption
Corruption in Zambia
The Chiluba Matrix
The Politics of Culture
The Language Debate
Media in Zambia
Information and Privacy
Emerging Zambian Leaders
Rural Poverty in Zambia
Shanty Towns in Zambia
In 2011, Charles Mwewa became the first single author to write a book covering all topics from law to economics, to culture, to politics and to the history of Zambia. The book has 1,100 pages with about 500 books and references cited. The book has over 2,500 footnotes. In 2017, Charles Mwewa began the project to re-make the book into volumes to make it easier to read and follow. Volume One is already available with its companion "Test Bank".
Copyright © 2012 - 2020 Charles Mwewa - All Rights