A CLERGYMAN narrowly escaped death when an angry mob of Mtendere in Lusaka battered him for being in possession of coffins.
Pastor Francis Musonda of Arise and Shine Church of Mtendere aggravated the situation when he tried to use the lid of a coffin to get rid of a crowd that had gathered around him.
A check at his home found two of Pastor Musonda’s children, who said they were surprised that people beat up their father because of coffins.
His daughter said she was at school when the incident happened, adding that her father had never been in possession of coffins.
“How could my father be accused of keeping coffins in this house? I’ve never seen them here,” she lamented.
When asked if this reporter could speak with her father, she said he was still in hospital at Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital and that all she had heard was that he was recovering.
But when the Sunday Mail went to the hospital, crew leader Himunyunji Munu said Pastor Musonda was discharged on Friday.
While pointing to the spot where the coffins were burnt and Pastor Musonda beaten, some residents wondered what a clergyman was doing with coffins when that was not his business.
Pastor Musonda’s landlord, Loveness Sakala with whom they share the premises, said she was at home on Wednesday when Pastor Musonda returned.
She said her son, who went to check who had opened the gate, narrated that the clergyman had brought in something which looked like a wardrobe from afar but after taking a closer look, he learnt that they were coffins.
“Since I was with my brother, I asked him to go and verify and he confirmed there were about eight coffins. We saw him take them behind my house, cover them with a tent, and then he walked out,” she said.
Alarmed, Mrs Sakala told her husband to ask Pastor Musonda why he brought coffins to their home without informing them.
Mrs Sakala said Pastor Musonda told her husband over the phone that he confiscated them from someone who owed him about K4,000.
She said her husband asked him why he did not grab a television set or some other item not as weird as coffins.
Mrs Sakala said her husband then told the clergyman to take the coffins somewhere else.
The residents, who saw the pastor bring the coffins earlier, began to gather around and demanded access to the premises.
According to Mrs Sakala, when Pastor Musonda returned home, he found the angry mob at the gate of the premises.
The crowd got angrier when Pastor Chanda brought out one coffin as he had been asked by the landlord to take them somewhere else.
Mrs Sakala said some of the people in the crowd then got into the yard and brought out the rest of the coffins and headed to the nearby Mtendere Bridge with the intention of burning them.
“That’s when Pastor Musonda took a lid off one of the coffins and tried to beat the people. This angered them more and they battered him and also set the coffins ablaze,” she said.
And inspector at Mtendere Police post said Pastor Musonda was on Wednesday admitted to Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital but has since been discharged. His whereabouts are unknown.
Zambia Daily Mail