Lango Paramount Chief, Mzee Yosam Odur Ebii, has rallied the clergy in Lango to form SACCOs in order to fight against poverty.
Odur made the remarks last Saturday at his residence in Teboke-Apac where members of the clergy and women leaders in the Diocese of West Lango met him to discuss the possibility of forming partnerships with Lango Cultural Foundation to handle issues of wealth, culture, and women’s affairs.
The diocese recently received Shs 50m from CIV-JASAI, a non-governmental organization, meant for training and empowering 3000 women against Gender-Based Violence; however, the diocesan leadership plans to involve the cultural leaders in the initiative.
In his address to the clergies, the ‘Won-nyaci’ Odur Ebii rallied the church leaders to mobilize Christians to join SACCOs in order to combat poverty and ignorance.
“Go back and analyze your villages/communities to find out how many homes are involved in the money-making economy. This is the biggest war you can help as a Church. I regard it as a sin to live with poor people,” he said.
Ebii also appealed to the clergy and other church leaders to develop a good saving culture to relieve their flock from frequent church collections.
“I always see some clergy leaders asking for money from Christians, in the name of getting blessings. Instead, you should form SACCOs and save money which would enable you to access loans to support church projects. Collections can later be made to service the loan instead of subjecting Christians to the pressure of daily, weekly or monthly collections,” he argued.
Eng. James Robert Ajal, the Lango Cultural Foundation Prime Minister, seconded the Paramount Chief’s view and noted that the struggle to liberate about 68 percent of peasants languishing in poverty lies with all stakeholders.
“There is a need for both the church leaders and we the cultural leaders to preach the good messages of poverty alleviation,” Ajal said.
Rev. James Okee, the Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of West Lango, who led the delegation, lauded the Lango Paramount Chief on his wise guidance to form a SACCO.
“The idea of forming SACCOs is indeed enriching, but I would like to inform you that the Diocese of West Lango formed one in December last year. But with your wise guidance, we shall consider forming SACCOs in all the 720 individual churches in the diocese,” he said.
The dean of St. Peter’s Cathedral-Aduku, the very Reverend Canon Vincent Ogwang, castigated ‘crooked pastors’ who peddle false hope to their members.
“Some of the clergies keep on telling Christians to wait for God’s miracles and breakthrough, instead of preaching hard work and encouraging them to join money-making venture,” he said.
Rev. Ogwang noted that mainstream churches are losing followers because of the prosperity gospel which gives ‘false hope’ to its adherents.
2016 data from the World Bank indicates that 21.4 percent of Ugandans fall below the poverty line. But Lango Cultural leaders say this can be combated if religious leaders focus on the social and economic transformation of Christians along the line of forming Cooperatives to improve household incomes and alleviate poverty.
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