Chipata Catholic Church Diocese Bishop George Lungu has directed church members to refuse the recently introduced ‘Church Empowerment Fund’.
In a pastoral letter, Fr Lungu says church members should have nothing to do with the money in question.
According to Fr Lungu, the PF Government can do a great service to the Church if it directs the money to needy areas.
Fr Lungu adds that there are retirees in the country who have been waiting for their hard-earned dues and that the Chipata City Council workers have not been paid their salaries for close to nine months, saying those are people that need the said money.
But Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president Andrew Ntewewe has urged the Church to ignore Fr Lungu and access the empowerment fund from Government.
Mr Ntewewe wonders why the priest is against the empowerment programme meant to help the Church during this challenging period.
Mr Ntewewe says the empowerment fund at the Ministry of Religious Affairs is in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Mr Ntewewe encouraged the Church especially the Catholic Church to heed to the advice by Lusaka diocese Archbishop Alick Banda to access the fund.
Mr Ntewewe thanked Archbishop Banda for being magnanimous, humble and apolitical in the affairs of the country.