The 1991 elections were momentous. The Country was at a major political crossroads. The vote was about change. After 18 years of one party autocratic rule by the UNIP Government, multi-party politics had just been re-introduced by the repeal of Article 4 in the Republican Constitution. The One party Participatory Democracy had clearly failed and Zambians were being asked to vote for change or keep the status quo by voting for UNIP, the ruling Party. Tensions in the Country were very high, hence, the important message from the leaders of the Christian Churches on the seriousness of those elections.
The central message from the Church leaders was a reminder that all authority comes from God our creator, and the will of the people is the basis of the authority of Government. Which is expressed through periodic free and fair elections. This is the foundation for “good governance”.
They identify the common good as the overriding concern of elections - not individuals. In this sense, the citizens are urged to register for voting in order to exercise their God-given right to vote.
To ensure the success of the electoral process, the Church leaders call for the observance of all electoral regulations. The success of election also depends on the absence of intimidation, bribery, threats, and violence. All these are to be condemned and discouraged during the electoral process. Finally, acceptance of the outcome of elections reflects a truly free and fair election. The leaders therefore urge all political players to abide by the result of the elections.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and in Jesus our Lord and Saviour!
23 September 1991, Lusaka