CATHOLIC priest Fr Arthur Ntembula has asked President Edgar Lungu to scrap the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance because it has no articulate mandate but unnecessarily costly to the country that has a struggling economy.
In a statement, Fr Ntembula, an assistant administrator at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka, wondered what national guidance the Ministry was offering.
“We are almost hitting a year since the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance was established and I still ask the same question: ‘Is this ministry really necessary? What national guidance is the ministry offering? I heard, in the recent past, the minister (Reverend Godfridah Sumaili) issued a statement regarding mushrooming churches and their false prophets; isn’t this just an attempt to be seen to be doing something? The minister is under pressure to be seen to be functioning within a ministry that doesn’t have an articulate mandate and utterly spelt out necessity,” Fr Ntembula stated.
Okay, when the minister goes to her office with her ‘technocrats’ and others, what exactly do they do? Isn’t this ministry just gobbling resources unnecessarily? We are in a biting economy and saving every ngwee for critical needs is of paramount importance.
He further wondered why President Lungu could not just make a bold decision to scrap the ministry to save money.
“I can assure you that subsidizing electricity will be more beneficial to the people than keeping a ministry whose work can be done by a Church mother body or just a committee of some kind. When electricity tariffs go up, the cost of production goes up too and it is the poor consumer in the compound that feels the bite the most because commodities consequently go up as well. It is like what happens when the fuel price goes up,” stated Fr Ntembula.
“I still appeal to bakateka (President) to revisit this ministry, scrap it and channel resources to more begging areas. Some people may not like this submission, but sometimes we have to be bold when something needs to be questioned and evaluated.”