Phalombe religious leaders to champion financial literacy

Phalombe,: Lack of knowledge of personal and group finance management skills among religious leaders in Phalombe district is said to have been the cause of most religious leaders’ failure to manage their church finances as well as teaching their congregants on the same.

The revelation surfaced on Friday during a Financial Literacy training session for religious leaders in the district organized by Phalombe district council in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).

Speaking during the event, one of the leaders, Mathero Msatithe, a Pastor for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian said in his observation that most religious leaders in the district lack financial prudence as such they fail to provide good financial leadership in their churches, a thing that leaves most churches in acute poverty.

Apart from letting down our churches on managing the church’s finances, we have failed to teach our congregants financial management during our sermons just because we were blank on these issues, said Msatithe.

He added that however, religious leaders are obliged to teach about finances as the Bible which is the blueprint of Christianity teaches a lot on financial prudence.

Malawi Government in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of Malawi and Malawi Micro-Finance Network are conducting a financial literacy program in the country, in response to findings of a recent survey on Malawians’ spending and saving behaviors as related to prevailing poverty.

According to the programs’ outline, the aim is to reach every Malawian with messages that will change their behaviors on financial issues in order to promote the spirit of budgeting, saving, investing and management of loans.

Addressing the religious leaders, District Commissioner for Phalombe, Memory Kaleso said the council as one of the implementers of the program decided to use churches in the dissemination of the messages considering their ability to reach far and wide with the word of God.

People believe in you as leaders and due to that trust it is easy for you to impart this knowledge in them. We implore you to lead by example among your followers by practicing what you have learnt, said Kaleso.

Commenting on the importance of the program, Director of Finance for Phalombe District Council, Joseph Ntiza said financial literacy lessons would not only benefit the religious leaders but the church in general, saying if the congregants were financially stable they would be able to offer more for development projects at church and in the district.

He bemoaned the current state where church leaders largely depend on offerings from congregants while educating them on the need to invest in treasury bills, businesses and other money multiplication mechanisms.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA