Eat and think thy neighbour- Hambira

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Too many people go to bed hungry everyday while their gluttonous neighbours throw away food. This would not happen if people were not selfish and adhered to the age-old faith exhortation to 'love thy neighbour as you love yourself."

This was said by reverend Rupert Hambira, Principal of the UCCSA run Kgolagano College at the Botswana Council of Churches (BCC) 45th anniversary celebrations in Gaborone last week."People throw away good food, and constipate rubbish bins while their neighbours go hungry," he said.

The church in particular, he said, should take the lead in feeding the hungry and bringing comfort to those that are hurting and in need.

That though can only happen if the church allows itself to focus on its purpose and nurture from among its membership men and women of integrity.

And the women must be respected, especially those who are feeding the sheep, that is, the female ministers in the church, said reverend Gabriel Tsuaneng of the UCCSA.

The church has a long way to go. "It is time the church dealt with its failure to appreciate women. Women are still not welcome to preach and some congregants will not accept the Holy Communion from women ministers," said reverend Masu from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Botswana.

The anniversary celebrations brought together church leaders from across the country. They used the opportunity to discuss various issues pertinent to church business.

Issues included the church's involvement in nation building, prophetic role of the church, the joys and challenges of ministerial work, human sexuality and emerging mission issues.

Addressing attendees, BCC president Reverend Mmachakga Moruakgomo said the council was currently going through a transformation process because it was crucial that every organisation "reflects on its mission, strategic objective and programmes to see if they are still relevant" to the ever-changing environment.

Moruakgomo said that as partners (with government) in development, their mission was to help Botswana attain United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and National Vision 2016 ideals. However he decried the level at which government utilised Church minister's services, adding the church is an important partner in nation building.

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The minister further shared that from the 320 businesses that notified the Commissioner of Labour about their plans to retrench, 20 were acceded to, which resulted in 204 workers being retrenched during April 2020 and July 2021.The retrenchments were carried out while the SoE was in place, meaning the companies that succeeded must have had solid reasons, despite the strict SOE regulations imposed on businesses to not retrench. We are left with...

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