The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) is disheartened by the increasing political violence among politicians despite several calls for restraint and tolerance.
And the CCZ has strongly condemned the attack on National Democratic Congress Secretary General Mwenya Musenge and his party Spokesperson Eric Chanda at 5fm Radio premises on Thursday.
CCZ General Secretary Fr Emmanuel Chikoya says any attempts by anyone to stifle freedom of expression, movement and association will be strongly opposed without fear or favour.
Fr Chikoya says the Universal Declaration on democracy as cited from articles 4, 11 and 19 demand that Democracy must be founded on the right of everyone to take part in the management of public affairs hence the achievement of democracy presupposes a genuine partnership between men and women in the conduct of the affairs of society.
Fr Chikoya says as opposed to violence, political party leaders must encourage their cadres to choose dialogue as it is the best way of resolving differences in a democracy like Zambia.
He says dialogue is the only way of reaching decisions that are acceptable to everybody, adding that dialogue is the primary means of avoiding conflict.
Fr Chikoya says what separates democracy from other political philosophies is the principle and practice of solving differences first and foremost through dialogue.
He explains that politicians must embrace dialogue every time they are resolving differences because it dispels assumptions, suspicions, bitterness and it clarifies misunderstanding between and among different stakeholders.
He further says dialogue is the best way of resolving problems adding that it is the only way of reaching decisions that are acceptable to everybody.
He has clarified that CCZ will always chose to stand for what is right while remaining non-partisan.
Fr Chikoya says CCZ expects leaders to be slow at getting angry, not given to drunkenness, not violent and not pursuing dishonest gain as quoted from the Book of Titus Chapter 1 verses 7 to 8. He says leaders must instead be hospitable, love what is good, self-controlled, upright, and disciplined.
He says the attacks on the NDC officials on Thursday is far from what is expected of political players particularly those who have been given the stewardship of leading the nation.
Fr Chikoya has encouraged all Zambians to dwell together in unity saying it is good and pleasant, especially at this time of Christmas.
He says Christmas is about sharing joy, peace and blessings and not exchanging blows in the name of politics.
He has since urged all Zambians to have zero tolerance for violence regardless of its source.
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN ZAMBIA