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Pastors express shock at being denied essential service permit




 “MPS visited us for general election prayers”-Prophet Moseki 

Ministers of Religion have expressed frustration and disappointed at parliament’s decision to reject a motion that sought to have them recognised as essential services providers on Wednesday last week.

The motion, which was brought by Member of Parliament for Francistown South, and Leader of Minority, Wynter Mmolotsi called for Ministers of Religion to be included in the list of essential service providers like journalists and lawyers among others. 

Mmolotsi argued that during trying times like the COVID-19 days, some people believe in their pastors more than anything else and therefore there was a need for pastors to be given exceptional travel permits so that they can carry out their holy duties during the Extreme Social distancing period.

“Just like lawyers who are given permits to be able to assist their clients in times of emergency, pastors too should be given the same opportunity to obtain permits that would allow them to visit their members for counselling and consultation.

Some people do need counseling and prayers during such hard times because they may be depressed or even grieving,” said the vice president of Alliance for Progressives.(AP)

Supporting Mmolotsi was MP for Mahalapye East, Yandani Boko of Umbrella for Democratic Change who told the house that during his mandatory 14 days quarantine last month, there was a time he felt the need for a pastor to pray for him. Boko’s plea for pastors however fell on deaf ears as the Leader of the House, Slumber Tsogwane dismissed his argument and put the motion to the vote for the ruling party MPS to shoot it down.

Responding to the rejection, some pastors expressed shock and disappointment at how lightly the legislators regarded pastoral services.

Prophet Luda Moseki of Graced Family Church said that he couldn’t believe that some of the MPs that visited him for prayers to win the general elections were the same ones who voted against the motion.
“Why are they turning their back on us when in fact we helped them?” Asked the perplexed prophet.
Prophet Moseki went on to explain that although he does live services through social media, it was not enough as some of his members needed one-on-one consultation in person.

Moseki’s words were echoed by Prophet Juda Angeles of PCG Church who too was disappointed by the rejection of the motion. Angelos said that they were shocked by the decision. “It’s shocking because we are of less importance now yet during big events like inauguration of the President we got recognition, we go to hospitals to pray for patients but now we are said to be unnecessary. It’s a total shock and it’s hypocritical,” he said.

The Serowe based Prophet said that if they were allowed to obtain essential service permit, they wouldn’t risk their lives and go into wards with COVID 19 patients and they would observe all the prescribed corona virus prevention protocols.

Celebrated Pastor Thuso Tiego of Bethel Transfiguration Church also weighed in on the matter , saying it had exposed the MPS opportunistic relationship with Christianity.
” Politicians only value Christianity and pastors when it suits them. Towards elections, all MPs were Christians and they visited our churches for prayers and now they say we are not essential. This decision should be a wake up call for churches to unite and speak with one strong voice instead of being fragmented through many associations,” he said. 

The Chairperson of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Tebogo Motlhagodi also agreed with his colleagues in the ministry and slammed the MPs for excluding church ministers from essential service providers.
” We had communicated to the office of the president prior to the parliament seating to put in a consideration for church leaders only and we were rejected. From now on we should know who values us and who don’t,” he said and went on to highlight that,“Government needs pastors to handle national issues and work as a link between God and the people.”




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