Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili has encouraged the Church, Religious and Faith-Based organisations to apply for the COVID-19 empowerment fund the Ministry has rolled out.

Speaking on Wednesday when she met leaders of Churches with Networks Rev. Sumaili said it is sad that some people want to politicize the empowerment fund when it was clear that the church has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She stated that government appreciates the role the church and its partners play in supplementing government efforts in alleviating the suffering of the communities in which they operate.

Rev. Sumaili explained that the sensitization meetings that the Ministry is having with targeted groups were aimed at equipping them with adequate information on how the empowerment scheme will operate.

She said the 50 Million Kwacha empowerment fund is aimed at stimulating the economy and ensuring sustenance of the church and its activities.

She further explained that the Ministry will only give out grants to Churches with Networks, Church Mother bodies, Religious Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations and Cooperatives run by the Church who in turn will give out loans to their members as a revolving fund.

The Minister has however, appealed to the would be beneficiaries to exhibit high levels of integrity, accountability, honesty and transparency as they administer the loans to the end users.

And President of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Zambia, Bishop Dr. Joshua Banda has thanked President Edgar Lungu for the initiative.

Dr. Banda said the church in Zambia should use this opportunity to grow its capacity and demonstrate accountability in the utilization of the funds.

The Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs has so far held meetings with some Church Mother Bodies, Lusaka Ministers Fellowship leaders and leaders of Churches with Networks in Lusaka.