Tilyenji’s narration suggests the briefing was more of a UPND presser held on a neutral venue than what it has been portrayed.
The three church mother bodies have declared Zambia a dictatorship and demanded the release of opposition political leader Hakainde Hichilema who is held on treason related charges.
BELOW IS TILYENJI’S NARRATION
MY EXPERIENCE AT THE THREE CHURCH MOTHER BODIES STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
By Tilyenji Mwanza
A befitting title is not a statement by three CHURCH MOTHER BODIES but instead;
*UPND BRIEFING ON THE STATE OF THE NATION*
I reluctantly drove into Kapingila house because instead of seeing my fellow media colleagues, the grounds were flooded with UPND officials and cadres guarding the grounds.
A few cadres spotted me and knowing my affiliation to the Patriotic Front they begun to exhibit an intolerance and from their faces I could draw out their desire to chase me from the vicinity but at least we all observed we were on holy ground or what I previously thought was neutral ground.
The high table was set and as I peered at my watch, I looked at my invite which had said the event was slated for 09:00hrs and Rev Suzanne Matale, Rev Pukuta Mwanza and Fr Cleopas Lungu were scheduled to address the nation.
As time ticked on past 11AM I stepped outside and decided to call Rev Pukuta Mwanza.
Tilyenji: Good morning Rev, we are awaiting for you. Will you be arriving any time soon for the state of nation address.
Rev Mwanza: my dear I am a bit lost, what state of the nation address.
Tilyenji: But Rev I have an invite sent by Mwenya Mukuka highlighting that the three Church Mother Bodies will be addressing the media giving a state of the nation address and from EFZ we are expecting you.
Rev Mwanza: Tilyenji my dear I am not aware of this address neither have we sat down to craft a joint statement. I mean I am General Secretary and if they are saying three Church Mother Bodies I think we should have sat down and all contributed.
But well my dear, I am looking for reconciliation of the nation, for healing that is why some of us do not agree even with terms used in the circulated pastoral letter such as dictatorship and demeaning language on the head of state. That for me is not the role of the church. The Church is supposed to be a reconciliator and not the one to be in the forefront igniting the fire.
However, please keep me updated.
Tilyenji: Thank you Rev but I wonder then who is coming from EFZ.
Rev Mwanza: I wonder too.
After saying our good bye’s as I was about to get back inside I saw him, like who would miss him.
GBM pouncing his way through with Gary Nkombo, Douglas Siakalima, Mutale Nalumngo the UPND chairlady for women affairs forgotten her name ( kikiki).
I decided to observe at a distance and I saw the UPND entourage ushered in as VVIP guests and it was then I realised the function had delayed because we had been waiting for these VIP guests.
Oh yes my friend Chilufya Tayali was also present sitted elegantly but funny even he did not spot me.
Media was pushed to the back as the UPND officials took the front row.
From fear of possible political victimization, I went and parked my vehicle outside by the filling station (easy escape).
And like in movies got big black docky looking shades and wrapped a showel around my hair and stood right in a corner.
Finally, they walked in, but well instead of the advertised trio to address. I noticed Bishop Alfred Kalembo, Paul Mususu and the Archbishop take up the high table as opposed to the secretaries.
Oohhh and as the church begun to read the statement instead of being in awe, I felt sad for my beloved CHURCH LEADERS.
“THE CHURCH HAS GONE POLITICAL!!!”
Awww how GBM nodded and applauded as the statement was read… several times as the bishop was reading you could see him look to GBM as if looking for approval of what to say next.
DICTATORSHIP, POLICE BRUTALITY, INTOLERANCE, NO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, INJUSTICE, INTIMIDATION these are words they echoed, I held my head and at this point could not take it anymore and slipped away.
I just have one question if we have a dictator for a President would they have even been able to assemble as they did.
I turn to my favourite social media site and look at how people freely speak on Facebook. Radio station, TV stations are carrying these bogus statements so is President Edgar Chagwa Lungu the kind of dictator who let’s you assemble, speak your mind and whatever nonsense was at that presser.
Is that what you call dictatorship?
I will dissect that statement bit by bit but for now let’s us agree that was not a statement by three Church Mother Bodies but it was a UPND BRIEFING.