Congratulatory Statement to the People and Churches of Zambia on their recent General Elections
The General Secretaries of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA), wish to congratulate the churches and people of Zambia on their successful elections. On the 12th of August 2021, the Republic of Zambia held its general elections. The nation went into the 2021 election facing massive socioeconomic challenges, ballooning external debt and the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people’s lives, and with high levels of fragmentation. As has been a common trend in African general elections, politically motivated violence showed its ugly face during the campaign period with reported cases of isolated violence and even loss of lives in some places. However, the Election Day was itself reported as mostly peaceful. To this we are grateful.
The Fellowship of Christian Churches in Southern Africa (FOCCISA) notes with gratitude that this 7th general election in Zambian recorded one the highest voter turnouts in the Zambian multi-party elections (over 80% of registered voters). This commitment to active citizenship is highly commendable and serves as an example for region. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson, Justice Esau Chulu, declared Mr. Hakainde Hichilema duly elected republican president of Zambia. Mr. Hichilema received an outright victory in one of the biggest electoral victories recorded in Zambian history.
The FOCCISA wishes to warmly congratulate President-elect, Mr. Hichilema who obviously bears huge responsibility to unite all Zambians and build a just and prosperous Zambia for all. We are glad that Mr. Hichilema has already extended the olive branch to the outgoing President, Mr. Edgar C. Lungu. We also hold in honour the outgoing president, Mr Lungu, who has displayed statesmanship and grace in conceding defeat. This is grace in defeat and magnanimity in victory is an example for the rest of the Southern Africa region.
The FOCCISA wishes also to congratulate the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson, Justice Esau Chulu, for managing the electoral process with such dignity and decorum. Such impartial, transparent, and dignified handling of the elections process will increase the confidence of Zambians but also other Africans in democratic processes.
Finally, the FOCCISA wishes to congratulate the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG), for playing such a critical role of accompanying the nation in the election process. Your role in monitoring and observing this electoral process before, during and after the elections increased the value and quality of citizens’ participation. You were indeed the “…the salt of the earth. [and] …the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14).” We as FOCCISA pledge to support you as you continue to accompany your government in rebuilding a prosperous Zambia within an inclusive and equal Southern Africa region.
The Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA) provides a forum to facilitate consultation, networking, and cooperation of the Christian Councils in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region. Currently FOCCISA is comprised of:
• Botswana Council of Churches
• Christian Council of Lesotho
• Christian Council of Mozambique
• Christian Council of Tanzania
• Council of Christian Churches in Angola
• Council of churches in Namibia
• Council of Churches in Zambia
• Council of Swaziland Churches
• Malawi Council of Churches
• Southern African Council of Churches
• Zimbabwe Council of Churches
The forum serves to coordinate and exchange views by its members in the region, by revitalising the role of media and communication in promoting and strengthening democratic consciousness values, good governance, and civic awareness against social evils like corruption, and all forms of discrimination particular against women and the marginalisation of the poor.
The FOCCISA is founded on the Gospel of salvation, liberation, justice, and reconciliation, as reaffirmed by Jesus Christ.