Before union the parent churches used to benefit from the services of the United Society of Christian Literature (USCL). After 1965 the church worked through the Christian Council Literature Committee for its domestic Christian literature printing such as hymnbooks and service books until when the committee received a grant from the USCL for purchasing a duplicating machine. In 1966 the committee started to be called Literature and Broadcasting Committee. From 1965 to 1969 Literature and Broadcasting work was being managed on part-time basis by Rev G. Bernard who was also the convenor of the committee. In 1967, the committee members made a visit to the Baptist Publishing House. This visit triggered the need to have a full-time worker. Rev G. Bernard was earmarked for this kind of work though he never took it up. In 1970, Mr W.G.P. Sinkala from Northern Presbytery was appointed Synod Literature worker. Synod asked Copperbelt Moderator and Principal of the Ministerial College in Kitwe to look into the accommodation of this worker. Mr Sinkala was only responsible for printing works. But the church was still looking for a Synod Literature and Broadcasting Officer. From 1967 to 1976 the church couldn’t find anyone to take up the position of a Synod Literature and Broadcasting Officer. In 1976 the church decided that Synod Literature and Broadcasting Officer should also do research on the needs of the church as a whole. The church therefore asked Rev David P.C. Curtis to help out as part-time Officer having been the convenor for the committee. In 1986 Rev Bishop F.D Silungwe was employed as full-time Synod Literature Officer and was based in Kitwe at Mindolo. In 1989 the Church sent Rev Evans Chibesakunda to Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation to do a diploma in Journalism, after which he was appointed Synod Communications Officer in 1991. Rev Chibesakunda worked up to 1992. From that time the department had evolved from Literature and broadcasting, to Literature, United Church Publications and now Communications. Bishop Silungwe worked as Synod Literature Officer up to 1995. In 1996, Rev Bishop Bellington M. Kabaso became the new Director; he worked up to the time when the department was closed in 1999. For two (2) years (i.e. from 1999 to 2000) the church operated without UCP and without Communications office as it tried to reorganise itself in terms of Communication and Publications.
In 2001, the church decided to re-establish the Communications department which was to be based at the former UCP. In the same year, Mr Moses Mbulo was employed as the Communication Secretary. He worked up to 2009 after his contract came to an end. In the same year the church had decided to delink Church publications from communications. This development saw the handing over of UCP to a recently formed UCZ Company called Mission Projects Limited (MISPROL). UCP therefore became a subsidiary company of MIsprol, while the Communications work were moved to Synod Headquarters in Lusaka. In May 2012, Mr Whycliff Mushipi became the new Communications Secretary, and only served close to two (2) years before being retired in 2013 on age grounds. In October 2013, Rev Dennis Mbita Sikazwe from the UCZ University College was engaged as the new Communications Secretary based in Lusaka.
The Communications Department is housed within the Synod Headquarters which is along the Nationalist road, off Burma Road. Synod office is near UTH and shares the wall fence with YWCA. The Communications Secretary’s office is situated behind the main administration block, located between the Projects Secretary’s office and the Synod Bishop’s office.
The department currently has one (1) member of staff and shares a secretary with the Administrative Secretary. Associated to this department also is the Registry Officer. The Communication Secretary is assisted by a team of Lusaka based communicators who meet every after two weeks. These include: Mr Patrick Nkama, Mr Wycliffe Mushipi, Mr Charles Quianoo, Mrs Chipo Zulu, Mrs Joy Lubinga, and Mr Richard Mwanza
- Rev Dennis Mbita Sikazwe – Synod Communication Secretary
- Mrs Isabel Makanga – Secretary
- Ms Ruth Tembo – Registry Officer
The department is well represented in all ten (10) presbyteries. The following Officer oversees Communication activities in Presbyteries:
Rev Stewart Kabaso
Northern Presbytery Communication Convener
North-western Presbytery Communication Convener
Rev Melvin Mubanga
Southern Presbytery Communication Convenor
Mr Emmanuel Chishimba
Muchinga Presbytery Communication Convener
Eva Kabwe Mporokoso
Copperbelt Presbytery Communication Convener
Rev Justine Manda
Eastern Presbytery Communication Convener
Rev Wezi M. Manda
Western Presbytery Communication Convener
Mr Albert Chituka
Central Presbytery Communication Convener
Mr Y K Museba
Lusaka Presbytery Communication Convener
Rev Bishop Samuel Mwambazi
Luapula Presbytery Communication Caretaker
The total salvation of humanity, with spiritual restoration and physical well-being, fully reconciled in Christ, the only Saviour.
The UCZ is committed to spreading the Good News of salvation to the Zambian people and all nations in fulfilment of Chris’s mission to the World.
The Communications department creates and maintains a favorable public image for the United Church of Zambia. It designs media releases to shape public perception of the UCZ and to increase awareness of its work and goals.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DEPARTMENT:
The Department’s major responsibility is to implement and interpret policies of the Church. It acts as a link between The UCZ on one hand and the print and electronic media on the other. The department keeps the members and the public informed about the activities of church officials and departments/institutions. It is in charge and controls all Press release information in consultation with the Synod Bishop and the General Secretary, and facilitates news sharing with other partner churches by way of exchange of magazines and pamphlets as well as mission stories. The best description of the department in social and economic terms, it is the conscience, a Builder, a Thinker, a Creator, a Helper, an enabler and advocate.
The department drafts press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast church material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of communication secretary. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what the church does with regard to that issue.
The department deals with the public and the media regularly; therefore, it is open and friendly to maintain a favorable image for the church. It is often in charge of managing several events at the same time with superior organizational skills. It uses good judgment in what it reports and how it reports it. The department speaks on behalf of the church clearly, explaining the UCZ’s position. We emphasize community outreach and client relations as a way to maintain and enhance our reputation and visibility. We do realise that public opinion can change quickly, particularly because both good and bad news spreads rapidly through the Internet. Consequently the communication department will be needed to respond to news developments and maintain church’s reputation.
FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT:
- To develop and manage communication strategies for the UCZ;
- To ensure the production and circulation of the UCZ newsletter;
- To manage the UCZ Website and facilitate the use of other social media in order to have the Church in continuous conversation.
- To advocate and engage people in order to conscietize them on justice and right living.
- To interrogate systems and policies from the perspective of a justice ethic and assist the Church to articulate her public witness with clarity.
- To help the Church to use public media in its ministry and mission.
- To accompany local congregations and communities in telling their stories.
- T assist the church with drafting at its meetings such as Executive and Synod;
- To write press releases and prepare information for the media;
- To respond to information requests from the media;
- To help UCZ communication users to communicate effectively with the public;
- To help maintain the church’s corporate image and identity;
- To draft speeches and arrange interviews for the church’s top executives;
- To evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with our church’s public relations efforts
The department works with local congregations, consistories, presbyteries, synod departments/institutions, other denominations, religious organisations, NGOs, Agencies, civil society, professional bodies, media houses, the Government, health and Educational institutions, private, public, local and international organisations. The departmental officers usually work in offices, but they also deliver speeches, attend meetings and community activities, and occasionally travel. The Department is actively involved in the organisation and planning for the Golden Jubilee celebrations to be held next year 2014.
- DEPARTMENTAL UNITS: The department is made up of four (4) units:
- Communication and Public relations
- Information and Knowledge Management
- UCZ Documentation Centre
- United Church Publications (care-taker)
Communication and Public relations:
- Improve communication and information flow by strengthening and developing an effective mechanism information flow between the various courts.
- Develop a communication policy that will spell out specific strategies to address external and internal needs of the church.
- Strengthen the existing communication structures at all level utilising a variety of methodologies.
- Improve infrastructure, improve information and communication facilities at all levels especially in rural areas.
- Establish public relations office.
- Develop a mechanism or formula of partnering with government.
- Information and Knowledge Management:
- To strengthen documentation and record keeping
- To create an enabling environment conducive for knowledge creation, storage, retrieval, sharing, dissemination and application
- Put in place a mechanism of gathering, documenting, storing and dissemination for easy retrieval and accessibility.
- Establish a library and a Resource Centre at Synod.
- Establish appropriate Knowledge management mechanism
- UCZ Documentation Centre – Research and Consultancy
The UCZ Documentation Centre – Research and Consultancy unit is located in the communication department. It is a consortium of UCZ academicians scattered all over the country for the sole purpose of reflecting on the social, political and economic life of the Zambian communities. Though much of the contributors are academicians the unit has moved away from the world of academics and theoretical reflection and extended their field of action, participating in social movements and working more and more at the grass-root level.
Some of the functions of the unit are:
- To work in solidarity with the poor;
- To ensure that social action, instrumental to structural change, be guided by a scientific and interdisciplinary analysis of reality;
- To participate in the building of a more just society;
- To attend to the mutual integration between faithand
This is done in three ways:
- social research and publications,
- advocacy and human development, and
- direct social action with and for the poor.
United Church Publications (care-taker):
- To establish a conducive environment for productive income generating investments
- Providing the church with necessary literature and publications
- Identifying new income generating investments
- Commercialising UCP
- Establishing a system of printing and publishing church bulletin and other materials
For the development of an informed Communication departmental structure and information policy, it is recommended that the Communications Secretary visits three (3) church related Communications departments for the purposes of study or orientation. Preference is given to the following:
- AACC Communication and Documentation Centre in Nairobi
- UCCSA/UPCSA Communications Department in South Africa
- CCZ Communications Department
It is also recommended that Mrs Isabel Makanga be sent for an advanced Computer graphics and designing course in order for the department to position itself for commercial competitiveness
It is recommended that two (2) sales persons be engaged for Lusaka as well as Kitwe bookshops.
It is being recommended that Mr Lazarus Phiri – the registry officer be attached to the Documentation/Resource Centre, and be given some training in printing possibly at Evelyn Hone College
COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
- Hold workshops on Synod communication policy making
- Repair and service the communication equipment ( ZANIS maintenance wing)
- Develop a Synod communications directory
- Conducting capacity building communication seminars for all communication convenors at various levels with a view to empowering them for coordination of missional activities.
- Harmonising the Communication Secretary’s Public Relations functions.
- Networking with other media and government information and communication wings
- Improve management of Church Newsletter, Website, email service and facebook.
- Plan for the establishment of Radio and Television services.
- Introduce other types of social media in order to improve interactive communication e.g. twitter, blog, SMS messaging
- Promotion of church projects
INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
- Conducting a comprehensive knowledge audit in order to identifying of explicit and tacit knowledge resources.
- Establishment of a knowledge management policy to be implemented in all communication catchment areas e.g. Church schools/College/University, hospitals/health centres, synod departments and business wings.
- Establishment of information and knowledge repositories e.g library, documentation centre and databases
UNITED CHURCH PUBLICATION
- Commercialise printing and publication services
- Establish two outlet Bookshops in Lusaka (Synod Office) and Kitwe (former UCP premises).
- Establish linkages with other international publishing firms (ISPCK).
- Produce church workers and clergy attire( AFRICAN PRAISE)
- Produce Christian audio visual products.
- Produce of church sourveniors
- Re-introduce mobile book delivery services