By JOHN SAKALA
President Edgar Lungu has given K120, 000 to Chingola clerics that have formed cooperative to start farming.
And President Lungu also empowered Kasompe markets in Chingola with K60, 000 under the Presidential Empowerment Fund (PEF).
President Lungu who sent Chingola Member of Parliament Matthew Nkhuwa to deliver the money on his behalf, said he wants as many Zambians as possible to get involved in farming in order to prosper the nation.
Speaking at Mountain of Fire church in Chiwempala, he said he had discovered that the clerics were left out on PEF that was why he had advised clerics from several churches to form a cooperative.
“What is being given is seed money we hope those with proper entrepreneurship skills will proper themselves. I repeat that it is easy to work with registered groups than dealing with individuals,” he said.
El-Gibhor Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited will receive K60, 000 as seed money from the Head of State.
Mr Nkhuwa also as Messenger of the President left K10, 000 to the cooperative.
“Your certificate as a registered cooperative is just a paper and now you need to actualize it. In Bemba they say ‘impiya taicepa, yacepa mano.’ The K60, 000 may not be enough capital for you but other businesses have started with zero capital,” he said.
Another group of clerics was met at World Harvest Ministries in Chikola Loop area where K60, 000 cash was left for the purpose of farming.
Apostle Edwin Simasiku received the money on behalf of other clergy.
And ElGibhor Multipurpose Cooperative Chairperson Clifford Chisha thanked the President for the empowerment.
Rev Chisha said he was pleased to see some clerics and their spouses drawn from various denominations coming up with a wonderful initiative of tent making and not wait for handouts.
“This shows that the clergy wants to be united, innovative in order to be become productive. El-Gibhor Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited is established to promote the economic, social, and cultural and the environmental needs and aspirations of its members and the community within and around Chingola by undertaking various activities enshrined in the by-laws of this co-operative.
“Government has shown real commitment towards empowering various groups in the nation and has been encouraging various groups to form co-operatives for sustainable development and we have formed one,” he said.
Chingola District Cooperative Development Officer Muma Chashi said in the past the cooperatives were only seen as a vehicle for farmers to receive fertilizer.
Mr Chashi said ever since President Lungu had annexed Cooperative to the Ministry of Commerce, the Cooperative movement has taken a path of business where it encompasses mining, farming, transportation among others.