MAUN: Pastors here have called on government to introduce a special package under its poverty eradication drive targeting pastors who live in abject poverty.
The call was made during a meeting addressed by the assistant minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Dikgang Makgalemele when he addressed Maun pastors at the Maun Administrative Authority on Thursday. Makgalemele had requested that pastors spread the message of the government poverty eradication drive to their members.
Pastors however said there is no way they can help government get rid of poverty when they themselves live in poverty.
A pastor from the Lutheran Church said government must start with empowering pastors to show them that the programmes work. “A poor man cannot lead another poor man. As pastors we ourselves live in poverty and government must first empower us economically before we can think of empowering our followers,” he said.
He said pastors are the mirrors of their churches and members believe in what they see happening to their pastors. He explained that many pastors work on voluntary basis for the churches they lead and do not get salaries.
This was reiterated by another pastor, Nandi Ramokoya, who attested that she personally comes from a poor background. She said: “I am poor. I have no land, not enough food and live on selling sweets on the streets.’’
Pastors from various
He called on the North West District Council and the District Commissioner (DC) to make a special dispensation to draw water from the Thamalakane River to water backyard gardens.
Motswae Motswae of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) explained that there is a lot of poverty among their members. Motswae reiterated that the rampant poverty is caused by lack of awareness about the government poverty eradication programme among their membership.
He called on the office of the DC to visit their church every Wednesday to sensitise their members on government programmes such as the backyard gardens.
Pastors also complained about land shortage faced by their churches. They accused the Tawana Land Board of refusing and delaying to allocate land to the churches. The gathering heard that many of the 173 churches registered in Maun are squattering. Makgalemele promised that government would look into concerns of land shortage faced by churches in the entire country.