Zambia: Church Disowns Two Nabbed Pastors
8 June 2011
BETHEL City Church International has distanced itself from the two pastors who were arrested by the Drug-Enforcement Commission (DEC) after allegedly being found with more than US$70,000 counterfeit notes.
And DEC spokesperson John Nyawali has advised Bethel Church International to lodge an official complaint and disown the two men if indeed it was true that they were not engaged by the church as pastors.
Bethel general secretary Stanley Benwa said in a statement released by the church's headquarters in Ndola that the former Bethel City Church International, now known as Bethel Church International, would like to make it clear that Collins Kashingwa and Nkambe Chasha, arrested after being found in possession of counterfeit US dollars notes, were not members of the church.
"Collins Kashingwa and Nkambe Chasha are not Bethel Church pastors. The only Bethel pastors at Matero congregation are Henry Tembo and Gabriel Mutemba," he said.
He said DEC should further charge the two men for giving wrong information.
Pastor Benwa said Bethel Church International licensed 11 pastors in Lusaka at a Nakatindi Hall function at which the names of the pastors were made public.
The function was open to the media and Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha graced the event.
He said linking the two men to his church was not only disturbing but denting the image of the church.
But Mr Nyawali said as far as DEC was concerned, the two men were pastors from Bethel Church International until after the church lodged an official complaint.
"Once we have an official complaint we will then carry out further investigations and charge the two men for giving false information if they are found wanting," Mr Nyawali said.
On Sunday, DEC arrested two pastors from Bethel City Church in Lusaka for being in possession of more than $70,000 of counterfeit notes.
Pastor Kashingwa, 31 and Chasha, 29, were arrested from Ody's Filling Station on Great East Road after they were found with $77,200 of counterfeit notes.
Meanwhile, another pastor from Tabernacle of Influence Church in Lusaka has been arrested for being in possession of K5 million counterfeit notes.
Quincy Kakompe, 30, was arrested from Longacres area after he was found with the counterfeit notes.
Mr Nyawali said Pastor Kakompe, who was carrying a BIBLE at the time of his arrest, had the counterfeit Kwacha in K50,000 notes.
He said the pastor was arrested with another person, Francis Mwela, a freelance cameraperson.
"The commission is saddened with clergymen who are perpetuating criminal activities as this is bringing the name of the Church into disrepute. As such, I would like to appeal to pastoral bodies to consider vetting pastors before they are ordained," he said.
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