In the midst of the INC media downplaying the deaths and injuries sustained by the people of Zambia and owing it to extreme hunger in the region, hear what the Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Reverend Godfridah Sumaili and Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe have to say about this.
“Hundreds of mourners converged on the Chunga cemetery in Lusaka yesterday for a mass burial of the eight people who died in a stampede at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) on Monday as multitudes gathered to receive food hampers.
There were touching scenes of expressions of grief from the mass of mourners who attended the burial who came from some of the most heavily populated residential areas of Lusaka.
National Guidance and Religious Minister Godfridah Sumaili, Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe and Lusaka District Commissioner Davison Mulenga were present to mourn with the bereaved families and friends.
Reverend Sumaili said the deaths were a painful loss to the nation as they could have been avoided had Church of Christ followed Government instructions not to go ahead with the event without following laid down procedures for handling large gatherings.
She said the tragedy served as a tragic reminder to local churches to be cautious about the authenticity of foreign faith-based organisations that came to conduct religious programmes in the country.
“This is a wake-up call for local churches. They should have the spirit of discernment to know the spirit behind some of the churches that come to conduct their activities in Zambia,” Rev Sumaili said.
She said Zambia was a nation of laws and that religious bodies that did not adhere to laid-down legislation would face the law.
Rev Sumaili also said Zambia was set to record a bumper harvest this year and that politicians who had politicised the matter were seeking political mileage.
Mr Mwakalombe called on Zambians to unite in prayer for the bereaved families.
He said the Government would soon announce measures that would be taken to support the families.
President Edgar Lungu had instructed investigative wings to expedite investigations into the matter to determine the real cause of the stampede.
Mr Mwakalombe said people who were attributing the deaths to high hunger levels in the country were insensitive to the feelings of the families.”
So, next time you call a group of people “Patay -Gutom” – that is the alternative definition to Extreme Hunger isn’t it – be sure you are not addressing it to the Zambian government which does not take take such comments lightly.