“State House Addresses President Hakainde Hichilema’s Absence on National Day of Prayer, Fasting, and Reconciliation”
State House has provided clarity regarding the speculations surrounding President Hakainde Hichilema’s absence from the designated location during the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, and Reconciliation.
Clayson Hamasaka, the Chief Communications Specialist at State House, has confirmed that President Hichilema observed the day in the company of family and friends. This clarification dispels any misconceptions suggesting that the President’s absence indicated a lack of observance.
Hamasaka emphasized that President Hichilema holds great respect for the significance of the day. He emphasized that despite having the authority to do so, the President has not removed this day from the calendar. Hamasaka stated, “We believe that this day is meant to be observed by all Christians, regardless of their location. It is not constitutionally mandated for a sitting Head of State to be physically present at a specific location, unlike the opening of the National Assembly. The President observed this day with his family and friends, similar to how Christians worldwide celebrate important occasions like Christmas. It remains a matter of personal conviction with God.”
Furthermore, Hamasaka pointed out that President Hichilema does not view this day as a measure of a citizen’s personal relationship with God. He referred to the book of Matthew 6:1-8, in which Jesus disapproved of turning personal faith into a public display. President Hichilema commends all Christian brothers and sisters who attended this significant day, as well as those who chose to observe it in the comfort of their homes and other places.
Hamasaka also highlighted the historical context of the day’s declaration in 2015, when it was used to target and undermine individuals like President Hichilema who were seeking public office. Despite this, President Hichilema has not abolished the day and upholds it as a public holiday dedicated to worship. Hamasaka reminded the public of the enthusiasm some individuals displayed for observing the day while engaging in negative activities, such as gassing citizens, looting public resources, brutalizing citizens, and promoting division among the population.