GOVERNMENT has directed the Registrar of Societies to ensure that all churches in the country submit annual returns, failure to which they should be penalised.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila said only 40 percent of the societies that are registered under the Registrar of Societies submit annual returns.
“Churches should comply with the law of the land by submitting returns and pay the subscription fee, which is only K100 per annum,” he said.
Mr Mwila was speaking in Chingola on Saturday night during the Faith Gospel Church fundraising dinner whose proceeds will go towards the construction of a community school in Buyantashi township.
He said some churches are registered under his ministry while others are registered under the Registrar of Societies.
“As Government, we are disappointed with some churches registered under the Registrar of Societies because only 40 percent of the registered societies submit their annual returns.
“All churches found wanting will be punished. I therefore direct the Registrar of Societies to ensure that all stakeholders comply with the law,” he said.
Mr Mwila commended Faith Gospel Church for its initiative to construct a community school for vulnerable children in Buyantashi township.
“Your initiative as a church is commendable. You should be commended for being committed to improving the lives of the marginalised in society,” he said.
Mr Mwila called on the business community to support initiatives aimed at bettering the lives of vulnerable children in communities.
The minister was accompanied by Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Richard Musukwa.
And Mr Musukwa said people that give to the church receive back in a special way.
And Faith Gospel Church pastor Timothy Kabulaya said the church is building a community school to supplement Government’s efforts to improve education standards in the district.
“We are aware that quality education is expensive and we want to provide good education to the poor,” he said.