SOME clergymen who lead church services in some school classrooms in Ndola say life is hard for them because schools have not been allowing them access and it is hard for them to get land.
And Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe has directed the Ministry of Lands in Ndola to allocate about 100 residential plots to clergymen.
Speaking when Nundwe speaking met about 500 churches in Chifubu Constituency, Tuesday, Ndola Churches Committee Chairperson Reverend Mulenga Chilekwa said the church needed to be supported in terms of land acquisition as worshipping from schools was unfavourable.
“Create an atmosphere to have them acquire land. Through the Member of Parliament, churches need land to build churches in Chifubu Constituency,” he said.
Chilekwa said it was a struggle for churches to acquire land and that was why they needed intervention from the Permanent Secretary.
“We know there is procedure but it is cumbersome to access land as a church. President [Edgar] Lungu respects the church and clergy and so we know this issue will be addressed,” he said.
And in response, Nundwe, who was flanked by area member of parliament Frank Ng’ambi and Assistant Chief Registrar of Lands Lubambe Kayuni, said priority needed to go to the church in land acquisition.
“We have plots already. So I am directing that about 100 of those residential plots be given to the church,” he said.
Nundwe said government could not work in the absence of the church and that was why they could not keep on renting schools and houses for prayer.
“There is no dignity in churches renting. We will work to ensure that the church is given priority. I will also make a suggestion to the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs for a deliberate policy for more churches to acquire land,” he said.
He said President Edgar Lungu made it known the importance of the church and that was why the church should be given land to administer the word of God.
Nundwe, however, advised the men and women of God to ensure that they were genuine in their teachings as there were many that were purporting to be for God when they only took advantage of people.
He also told the clergy that they should run genuine businesses that were corresponding to the word of God.
Meanwhile, Ng’ambi said the church needed to be given preference as they were the ones that helped in paving way of development through the word of God.
“President Lungu has demonstrated the importance of the church, hence the need to look into the issue of them acquiring land as they are the development pavers,” said Nundwe.
Ng’ambi said the men and women of God were committed to God and that was why their challenges should be addressed.