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Explaining CDF from Pulpit

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By Jack Mwewa

CONSTITUENCY Development Fund (CDF) programme being propagated by government is in line with Biblical principle of productivity.

Libala Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) Pastor Kebby Shibeleki recently took time to encourage congregants to take advantage of the CDF programme if they were to be part of God’s multiplication principle.

“A productive church will always add value to society, the more people we have that are productive, the easier it becomes for us to contribute to national development,” he said.

It was at a two-hour Bible study session held at Libala SDA Church in Lusaka where Pastor Shibeleki took a rather unique approach to theological interpretation of real situations.

At least in an era where some clergy have tailored teachings of prosperity without labour, he chose to address the matter from a candid point.

Basing his teaching on the Biblical text of Genesis 1 vs 28; “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply”, the clergyman recounted how God instructed humanity to be productive.

“You will discover that the first recorded instruction God gave to humanity in the book of Genesis is that he should not sit idle but engage in some productive work,” Pastor Shibeleki said.

Riding on that foundation, the clergyman feels that the United Party for National Development’s CDF programme is a way of creating an enabling environment for citizens to participate in national development.

His understanding is that while government could do its part in formulating policies meant to improve productivity, citizens, church members inclusive, are called upon to seize the opportunity.

This, according to him resonates with God’s plan to have prepared the garden for His first creation and charged them to take care.

“In the same verse of Genesis 1 vs 28, the last part talks about God entrusting man to; “Replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over everything that moves upon the earth”, Pastor Shibeleki explained.

Against that charge, the clergyman said idleness was not only against God’s desire, but also opposing the rule of multiplication.

After all, it is in the same Bible where it is said; “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat”.

Every human being described as “wonderfully, and fearfully created,” has the capacity and potential to be creative and productive just like his creator is.

As much as it is expected for human beings that have been availed the opportunity to be productive, condemnation is also pronounced against those that fail to seize the chance.

Again, Pastor Shibeleki gets to the Bible where he expounds a parable found in the book of Mathew 21 vs 18 – 21 in which Jesus Christ cursed a fruitless fig tree.

Mathew 21 vs 19; “And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever, and presently the fig tree withered away”.

His explanation in all that is that by such a programme as CDF, government was discouraging a culture of giving handouts but encourage hard work that resonates with natural law of multiplication.

“I wonder when I see able-bodied young men begging on streets, if they have energy to stand in the sun the whole day asking for help, I believe they can still use the same energy doing some work for a living,” he said.

Taking it in homes, the clergyman also encourages parents to teach their children the culture of working as a way of imparting lessons of productivity and multiplication.

Unlike a trend where some parents force children to do household chores as a form of punishment, he suggests that every child be made to participate in work as part of everyday living.

While focusing on national participatory productivity, Pastor Shibeleki also gives the other side of failing to take advantage of availed opportunities.

That he illustrates based on a parable given in Luke 19 vs 11 in which a ‘master’ left to a far land leaving his subjects to look after ‘talents’, which others multiplied while the other one buried it.

“For I say unto you, that unto everyone who shall be given, and from him that has not, even that he shall be taken away from him”.

In the words of Pastor Shibeleki, just like the Biblical philosophy of productivity, accumulation and generosity, government’s CDF programme was a timely gesture calling for citizens’ participation.

Among the congregants was Hyden Hamikondo who acknowledged the pastor’s presentations and requested that the church should help members be part of government’s intended formulation of farm blocs.

“I must say this presentation has been insightful to most of us, especially the lazy ones who don’t want to work. I want to make an appeal that the church helps us to be part of farm blocs that government intends to set up,” Elder Hamikondo said.

For Stephen Tembo, the study came at the right time when a number of youths were wasting away looking out for formal employment, but that they can now be empowered through CDF.

“It is our hope that youths in the church like others, can benefit from government’s deliberate intentions meant to empower citizens,” Elder Tembo said.

Upon ascendancy to government last year, the UPND’s new dawn government increased funding of the CDF from K1.6 million to K25.7 million per constituency.

Other than community projects whose allocation is 60 percent of the said allocation, youth and women empowerment shares the remaining 20 percent each.

So far, the response from the CDF programme has been that of mixed reactions with some Constituencies posting encouraging accessibility, while others posting lack of understanding of the whole process.

One hopes that with preserved challenges cited in the process of applying and accessing CDF in some circles, church leaders will join in sensitising and encouraging congregants on the need to be productive.

After all, the clergy is among the CDF committee members appointed through CDF Committee established under the CDF Act No 11 of 2018.

Courtesy: Sunday Mail of Zambia

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