Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund (PEIF) patron Chanda Kabwe says K100,000 has been released to go toward the empowerment of women in selected churches in the country.

Speaking in Kabwe at United Church of Zambia (UCZ) All Saints congregation this morning during a special service to raise funds for the new church structure, Kabwe said the released funds would help improve the lives of vulnerable women in churches.

He said some churches had complained for being left out in the empowerment programme which had so far only been targeting marketeers.

“I have received reports from some sections of the church community that we are leaving them out in the Presidential Empowerment Programme. Yes, it is true that we have predominantly been empowering women in markets. But I am excited to mention that we are now getting into the churches to empower the vulnerable women there. A programme has already been drawn to carry out this exercise in the selected churches countrywide. K100,000 has been released to go toward empowering churches and I will be leaving K15,000 here at All Saints congregation,” Kabwe said.

Kabwe reiterated that the move taken to empower women in churches was in line with the government’s recognition of the church as a key partner in development.

He said the church had a critical role to play in ensuring that the peace and unity being enjoyed was maintained and this was why the empowerment packages will also be targeting women in various churches to enable it to play this role effectively.

“We shall in the coming weeks be going to other churches in the country to empower vulnerable women. We have on the list the Methodist church in Buchi, Kitwe, which shall receive K15, 000. Others are; the Salvation Army church, in Bbwe Munyama, Siavonga, which will receive K15, 000; Chilubula Mission for the Catholic Church in Kasama with K 20, 000; a Pentecostal church in North Western province will get K 15, 000 and lastly another UCZ church in Chimwemwe with K 20, 000. We are doing this because we know that the church is the backbone of national development. The peace and unity of the country depends on the church. Therefore, as a church we have a critical role to play to ensure that Zambia remains peaceful and united,” said Chanda, who is also Central Province permanent secretary.