First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda has observed that the Church has a critical role in helping maintain peace and understanding among various beliefs, affiliation, race and tribes.
Dr Kaunda said this yesterday during the farewell ceremony of Bishop Lackson Chibuye of the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) St. Paul Congregation in Kabwata.
Bishop Chibuye had been Lusaka Presbytery Bishop since 2005 to date and would now be stationed at Lusaka Central Consistory, for redeployment to another congregation.
Dr Kaunda commended Bishop Chibuye for being instrumental in guiding the Church towards achieving peace, harmony and understanding among the members.
He said under Bishop Chibuye's stewardship the Lusaka presbytery which stretches from Luangwa to Kafue experienced growth in terms of the staff numbers, congregation and membership.
Among other projects that Bishop Chibuye pioneered was the United Voice Community Radio Station.
"He led us very well, it is with deep sense of appreciation and humility that I wish to commend Bishop Chibuye and Mrs Chibuye and family. I also wish you well in your new appointment as you take other duties," he said.
Dr Kaunda was confident that with Bishop Chibuye's vast experience he would succeed as he takes up other congregatory duties.
And UCZ synod Bishop Mutale Mulumbwe commended Bishop Chibuye for offering the Church quality leadership, through hard moments Reverend Mufumbwe said despite a lot of bickering in the Church the Bishop was there to provide leadership relentlessly.
He condemned the habit by people to praise a person when they are still serving, but speak against them when they left office.
"This spirit should be cast out, this spirit which has now also spread to churches of talking ill about people. When people are in offices you should tell them if they are wrong," he said.
He said the Church would call on Bishop Chibuye whenever need arises as leadership does not end.