President Edgar Lungu says government will engage Chipata diocese Bishop George Lungu to find out his reservation on the government Covid Relief Fund which has been extended to the churches.
President Lungu says it is good that other Bishops in the Catholic Church have allowed their priests to accept government empowerment programs.
He says government has no plans to antagonise Bishop Lungu but will have to get his thinking on the matter with a view to finding a solution and promoting dialogue.
He says the Catholic Church has worked so well with government since 1964 and this must continue.
President Lungu says the Church is government’s great partner in the provision of services such as education and health.
President Lungu said this when he held a meeting with Apostolic Nuncio Gianfranco Gallone at state house today.
The meeting was also attended by PF Secretary General Davies Mwila and PF national Chairman Samuel Mukupa.
President Lungu stated that it was the church that demanded to be included on the empowerment program because of the effects of Covid-19 and not the other way round.
And Apostolic Nuncio Gianfranco Gallone said the PF government and the Catholic Church enjoy a good relationship
He said he is aware that the church and government through the ministry of Religious Affairs met in October last year and agreed on the Covid relief fund for churches.
The Nuncio said there is need for continued dialogue and collaboration between government and the church in order to continue providing services to the people of Zambia.
He said it is good that the government of Zambia has recognised the efforts of the church in national development.
The Apostolic Nuncio has also thanked President Lungu for the announcement by government that the clergy and health workers will be among the first to receive the Covid Vaccines.
He said health workers, Priests and other church leaders meet a lot of people hence the need to be among the first group to receive the vaccine.
And President Lungu took his guest around State House grounds for game viewing, which also included the fishponds.
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