International Fellowship Churches welcomes suspension of Radio Licenses

Bishop Chihana

Bishop Chihana

The International Fellowship of Christian Churches (IFCC) has welcomed the suspension of licenses for the Radio broadcasting of Islamic programs by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) chairman Emmanuel Mwamba.

We welcome this move because there was going to be a silent growing tension in the church circles against the PF government on why they have granted such licenses  without consulting the Christian Church in general which commands more than 90% of Zambia’ population attached to Christianity. We are also aware that Zambia is a Christian nation with tolerance of other religions.

As Mr. Mwamba has said that no further permits shall be considered until the IBA has completed a comprehensive consultation with the church, Government, the Islamic society and other interest groups, this is a great move in the interest of the nation and mostly the interested mentioned parties.

We have also taken note of how such individuals of the Islamic community went ahead to apply for licenses without the blessing of their mother bodies such as the Islamic Council of Zambia and the Islamic Society of Zambia.

In our support for the move to cancel the licenses, we must however remind ourselves that dr. Kaunda who is our first republican president played a major role to bring about the church to the front as can be seen from the following quotation below which I read from an old Presbyterian Christian magazine edited by the Church of Scotland in Scotland;

“1963 Kenneth Kaunda, son of the first African Pastor ordained in central Africa and that time prime minister elect of Zambia had a vision. He planted the seed for a religious department to be part of the nation’s government owned and operated radio and television stations. And he sent out a call for people to assist in the cultivation of this new field of African religious broadcasting. He had specific guidelines.”

A pastor Gunter Kaiser, who was a Presbyterian minister in Zambia just before independence, continues to state in the magazine. “On October 24th 1964, on the birth of Zambia as an independent nation, the Christian Religious Department of Zambia broadcasting became a reality”

And Dr. Kaunda in his speech challenged the religious department with these words.

“Today, I as the president of Zambia , together with the party, we are charged to look after the material welfare of Zambia’s people, and you are charged to look after the spiritual needs of the nation. No nation can be built on material foundation alone; it needs a spiritual one to prosper”. (End of quote).

We highly appreciate and commend the move that government has made to recognize the need to have the church and other bodies participate in the decision making of such a very sensitive and strategic.

We must understand that, radios, newspapers and televisions are very sensitive and strategic mediums of the society that have the ability to make or break a nation, that can either strengthen unity or divide a nation, that can either promote peace or bring about war, that either encourage good morals in our society or be used as a weapon to corrupt morals and of course they have been mediums for marketing.