The Government has released 25 Million out of the 50 Million Kwacha set aside to empower churches, religious and faith based organisations as a relief package amid the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Godfridah Sumaili said the government is aware of the challenges that churches and Religious organisations are facing due to the outbreak of the pandemic, hence the need to establish an empowerment scheme that will keep them running.
Reverend Sumaili disclosed this during the launch of the Church, Religious and Faith Based Organisations empowerment scheme in Lusaka today.
“The funds will support already existing charity programmes which have severely been affected among other empowerment schemes,” she clarified.
The Minister added that the scheme will be strictly monitored to ensure more churches, religious and faith based organisations also benefit from this relief package.
“The government decided to support the empowerment scheme, because the church and other faith based organisations have been supplementing the government’s efforts in social and economic activities,” Reverend Sumaili stated.
Reverend Sumaili implored all men of God to desist from partisan politics, urging them to instead preach peace and unity especially as the country heads to the polls.
And the clergy are thankful to the government for responding to their predicaments that have emerged due to the pandemic.
The Leadership Farm Lead Consultant, Oritsejolomi David indicated that the initiative if managed properly can create capacities and also build economies that will trickle down to the most vulnerable in society.
Pastor David added that the scheme is not just stimulating churches, religious and faith based organisations but also the economy.
“This money will go into every sector, the marketeer, the farmers, and many more will get something. So the empowerment scheme is very good,” Pastor David indicated.
Prophetess, Elfriday Musambazi, of Barack Ministries noted that the onus is now on the beneficiaries to effectively manage the funds, adding that the government has done its part by implementing the programme.
President Edgar Lungu, after hearing a plea from Ndola based faith organisations last year, he implored the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to come up with modalities of an empowerment fund just like other sectors.