Zambians Toast Easter

PRESIDENT Michael Sata was yesterday among hundreds of Lusaka residents who gathered at St Ignatius Catholic Church to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ who died on Good Friday.

The Veneration of the cross was also attended by former Presidents Rupiah Banda and Dr Kenneth Kaunda, MMD leader Nevers Mumba, Forum for Democracy Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi and People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti.

Easter holiday is celebrated by Christians not only in Zambia but world-wide to demonstrating the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection after three days.

President Sata arrived at the church at about 14:50 hours and stayed for almost four hours after watching a one-hour ‘The Passion of the Christ’ play, performed by the church youths depicting the death of Jesus Christ.

The solemn play led several congregants to tears as it depicted Jesus’ long walk to the cross.

Earlier, Mr Sata who was in a jovial mood, interacted with former presidents Dr Kaunda, Mr Banda, ministers and children who sat near him.

Mr Sata also kissed the cross to symbolise homage to Christ. Other Christians followed suit in kissing the symbolic cross of Jesus.

St Ignatius Catholic Parish Church Priest Fr Joe Keaney who celebrated the mass urged Christians to exercise love and unity during and beyond the Easter holidays.

He said behind the passion of Christ was God’s love for man hence the need for all Christians to exercise love and that whatever anyone was going through, they were all God’s children.

St Ignatius assistant Parish Priest Father Charles Chilinda called for love, compassion and reconciliation.

He said there was too much violence, mistrust and division in Zambia today hence the need for love and reconciliation.

“Let there be love, compassion and harmony as we witnessed today. Who ever thought that Rupiah Banda would sit next to Mr Sata and Wynter Kabimba next to Mr Banda. I hope this is not just a sham but that it will continue and make Zambia a beacon of love with people who are friendly and genuinely love one another,” he said.

In his homily, St Ignatius assistant Parish Priest Father John Mwelwa said Zambia was at a crossroad as it celebrated its 50years and called for reconciliation.

He said Zambians should use Easter as a time for homecoming and forgiving one another.

“Where are we and why are we losing the unity. Let no one shed blood on our streets and let us be united. The 50th anniversary celebrations should promote transformation and unity,” he said.

The mass was attended by some cabinet ministers among them Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, senior government officials, former Commerce inister in the Rupiah Banda administration Felix Mutati, MMD Chembe MP Mwansa Mbulakulima and Muhabi Lungu.

After mass around 19:00hrs, Mr Sata took time to have a brief chat with his predecessor Mr Banda before leaving the church.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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