The picture above is from DW article Tough Times for Democracy in Zambia [link to article]
Voters went to the polls in Zambia on Friday. Our new friend, Levison Soko, the bishop for the BICC in the Lusaka area, said on Facebook: “Took a drive into town, Chilanga and some surrounding areas. It’s amazing how the situation is cool and calm. This is what we want as Zambians. Pray and trust this situation will remain like this even after official results are announced by ECZ.” One of his friends quickly wrote back, “Its a time bomb. Don’t misread the situation Rev.”
Here is an interview from Africa that describes some of what is going on.
The denomination that mothered Circle of Hope, the Brethren in Christ, has a significant relationship with daughter churches in Zambia. A few of us, myself included, visited with many of them this past spring [blog posts]. So I have a renewed interest in what is going on and have some faces to go with my concerns.
The election is happening under new rules [BBC Video]. You can read all about the process on the Wikipedia page [here it is]. There has been violence and accusations that the opposition is forming a militia. There has been repression and suspicions that the election is being engineered for a government win by printing ballots in Dubai. It goes on. It is hard to hold an election for a whole country, especially one that does not have endless resources to make everything tidy! As of last night, the opposition said they had won, having conducted a parallel tabulation of votes [link].
This morning, our friends Levison says: “Good morning Zambia, on this Lord’s day remember we are still one people. Even after election results life must continue. We all need to work together to unity our people and maintain the peace.”
Why care? We have a connection with the BICC plus a significant MCC work going on [FB page]. Plus, we are world Christians. We feel a connection with fellow Christians around the world and we would like to use the great wealth of our country (and our own relative wealth) to supply the needs, spiritual and otherwise, of people we can touch. Plus, of course, we long for reconciliation and justice to rule, not threats, lies and violence. Anyone who reads this can certainly pray. Any unrest will hurt the “least of these” in Zambia, first.