Zambia Daily Mail by Online Editor on 6/8/13
By CHAMBO NG’UNI
A ‘GODLY’ act by two Lusaka-based pastors last weekend to ‘cleanse’ Mulungushi River in Kapiri Mposhi of ‘evil forces’ landed them in trouble.
The clergymen were apprehended and taken to Manyumbi police check point on the Great North Road in Kapiri Mposhi and were later transferred to Kabwe Central Police Station for questioning.
Central Province police chief Standwell Lungu confirmed in an interview on Tuesday that the incident happened on Sunday.
According to police, local people spotted the two clergymen in deep prayers and sprinkling ‘anointing water’ in Mulungushi River.
Mr Lungu said: “They were sprinkling ‘anointing water’ in the river because they believe there are some evil spirits in there.”
Mr Lungu said a local bishop from one of the Pentecostal churches in Kabwe who was called to the police confirmed that he knew the two clergymen to be genuine Christians.
Mr Lungu said according to the bishop, the two pastors did not do anything wrong and they have been conducting prayers at Mulungushi River.
He said the police later allowed the clergymen to go because police did not see the need to detain them further.
“They are known here. They have been doing this (praying and sprinkling anointing oil in Mulungushi River) for some time…after interviewing them, we did not find anything wrong with the matter as police,” Mr Lungu said.
Earlier, a police source said the pastors were also spotted sprinkling anointing water on some sections of the Great North Road.
The source said police found the activities of the duo “strange”, especially that they did not notify the police about their works of exorcism.
“It was strange. They were brought to the police on Sunday in the afternoon but after a bishop and a prominent local lawyer intervened, they were released without any charges,” the source said in an interview.
Meanwhile, Mr Lungu has said religious organisations or individuals wishing to conduct prayers on the Great North Road have the right to exercise their religion as long as their activities are in accordance with the provisions of the republican Constitution.
Mr Lungu implored all those planning to conduct such prayers to notify the police because they may need police protection from people who may have contrary beliefs.
The Central Province police chief said the two pastors who were victimised for sprinkling anointing water in Mulungushi River had not notified the police of their activities.
“Those two would have been killed. So it’s important to inform the police for their own protection,” Mr Lungu said.