UPND vice-president Mutale Nalumango says there is nothing biblical about donating stolen money to churches.
On Monday, Religious Affairs Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili justified PF members’ huge cash donations that had been distributed to vulnerable citizens as “biblical” and that it was not up to the recipients to question the source of the cash.
But in an interview, Nalumango insisted that there must be questions about where the donated funds were coming from.
“The church has been receiving donations, that has been there from time immemorial, but who is giving? And where are they getting it from? Nobody is condemning the church for receiving money, but receiving money that has been stolen from the public that is meant to provide social service delivery and buying hospital machines? Are they giving with sincerity or is it that you want to use to bribe the church for them to support you? That is not giving to God. Our concern is where is the source? It is not a biblical statement. Where is it coming from that the church receives stolen money? Nobody is saying, ‘you cannot give even a K1,000 from your pocket…’ That is not the issue. If you are privileged, you think you should donate, go ahead, but don’t go and donate what is not yours, that is deception,” said Nalumango.
“My question is that so they can receive from barons? If it is stolen, are we going to say that is okay? The church should receive without questioning? Then I doubt the morality of some churches. I am a church person, too, I don’t think I can receive money from a robber, after he has killed somebody, he gives me then I say, ‘it’s fine because it is not me who has not stolen.’ Even in the law of our land by buying stolen property, you are equally guilty. The issue is not receiving money, the issue is who is giving? Where are they getting the money? This is not about pastors or priests who are receiving, the church must receive and will continue to receive all the time. But is the money coming from the right sources with people that have decided to give because God has blessed them through their hard work, not stolen money from public coffers?”