By JOHN SAKALA
The Ndola City Council has worked on a layout plan for the plots on which churches will be built, in response to President Edgar Lungu’s directive to the Council to make land available for churches that congregate in schools.
Ndola Mayor Amon Chisenga and Town Clerk Cosmas Chalusa made the assurance yesterday when they had a meeting with the Ndola Pastors Fellowship at Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) Chifubu Congregation.
The Ndola Pastors Fellowship Northern Zone organised a meeting to meet the Mayor and welcome the new Ndola Town Clerk, Mr Chalusa to the city.
The Pastors Fellowship also used the occasion to make a follow-up on the progress made towards making land available to construct churches after some of the churches were shut following Government’s ban on churches from meeting in schools as a way to contain the Corona-virus (COVID-19).
The Mayor has said that the Ndola City Council may relax some measures to allow churches that have plots to congregate in unfinished structures.
Mr Chisenga said this will, however, be a temporary measure as churches are required to build permanent structures.
“It is a serious and urgent concern for us and we do not delight in the current situation that you are not meeting because churches are important as they shape the nation,” the Mayor said.
He urged all churches to visit the local authority to discuss their challenges.
The Mayor said the Council wanted to ensure that all churches quickly went back to congregating and in the safest possible conditions.
He said he would consult the Ministry of Religious Affairs on how best the Council could allow churches to meet that did not have built structures.
And the Town Clerk said the council management was in the process of providing the plots for churches that congregate in schools to build structures.
“From that day when you the clergy met the President, your council started laying out a plan for the plots where the churches will be in a certain area,” he said when he responded to the questions from the clergy.
The Town Clerk said the plots would be given out in a phased manner because all the churches could not be given land at once.
He said the council would also ensure that a special process was made for churches to access plots quickly.
Mr Chalusa said the council would, however, not allow churches to congregate in homes as they await land for their churches.
Earlier, Pastors Fellowship Northern Zone advisory council chairperson David Ng’ona said COVID-19 had affected half of the churches in Chifubu Township as they have been banned from meeting in schools.
Bishop Ng’ona said the Ndola City Council should consider waiving some restrictions because most big Pentecostal churches started from schools and later built structures.
He said plots for churches should be made available soon and that before churches built, the council should allow them to congregate in temporary structures.
The church leaders also prayed for Mr Chisenga and Mr Chalusa and blessed the Town Clerk so that he may flourish in his new position.
This is according to a media statement made available by Ndola City Council Public Relations Manager Rebecca Mushota.