Stop Crusades Until After By-Election, Shikapwasha Asks Sda in Nangoma

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2003 02:40 PM EDT

STOP your crusades until after the by-election, home affairs minister Lt. Gen. Ronnie Shikapwasha has asked the Seventh Day Adventists (SDA) in Nangoma Constituency.

Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha yesterday accused the SDA church in Nangoma of agitating reaction from MMD cadres because they were campaigning for opposition UPND under the guise of holding crusades.

"The SDA are campaigning for UPND by dishing out salaula. This is the second time. The first we stopped them," he said. Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha said most of the SDA members holding crusades in Nangoma were from Lusaka city and Southern Province.

"We want them to stop this because it will be bad if our cadres react," he said. But UPND deputy president Sakwiba Sikota said Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha's allegations were not true. He said it was a great pity that there was interference in religious activities by the MMD. "They should respect people exercising faith and want to pray," he said.

Sikota said even assuming that the said SDA members were campaigning for UPND, there would be absolutely nothing wrong because they were entitled to choose somebody who would better people's lives. He said there was religious intolerance in the MMD.

Sikota said it was not too long ago when sports minister Reverend Gladys Nyirongo during the Zambia-Sudan game said Christianity was superior to Islam. He said this was not good for the country.

"People must be free to associate and in whatever faith," he said.

"It's surprising that at the time government is seeking assistance of Iran in the procurement of oil, some people can be so insensitive to Muslim faith regarding it inferior."

Sikota said it was not surprising that Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha did not ask police to arrest Rev. Nyirongo for her statement because he also had hatred against SDA.