WIDOWS of nine African Methodist Episcopal Church pastors who perished in a road accident in Luapula Province in September 2012 have threatened to have the church Bishop Jacobus Messiah prosecuted for allegedly misusing K 146,750 donated to them in June 2013.
According to the widows’ spokesperson Paul Kalwa, Bishop Messiah allegedly received a total donation of K181,250 meant for the widows from the Women Missionary Society in America, South Africa and Zambia but did not deliver it to the intended beneficiaries.
He said it had to take some pressure from the police who were later involved in the matter before the bishop released K34,500 in installments, leaving him with a balance of K146,750 unpaid to date.
“This is not right because the widows and orphans of the deceased pastors are wallowing in poverty when they have something they can at least fall back on. He will be jailed if he is not careful,” the emotional Kalwa said.
Mr Kalwa, who has travelled to Lusaka, said the widows had instructed him to take the matter to the Ministry of Home Affairs to intervene.
Mr Kalwa said in an interview that the widows and orphans of the deceased pastors had run out of patience with Bishop Messiah who he said promised to pay back the money when he was questioned at the Police Force headquarters.
When contacted for a comment, Bishop Messiah’s administrative assistant Cosmas Wakunguma said there was no such a case and that Mr Kalwa was just inviting problems upon himself and the widows.
“If it is about that issue (money for the widows) there is no story there, those people don’t know what they are talking about.
The bishop has no such cases,” Mr Wakunguma said.
According to a WMS report to the general board dated June 23 to 26, 2013 hosted in Kingston, Jamaica, the women group reported having contributed a total of US$12,500 for emergency support to the 17th Episcopal District presided over by Bishop Messiah.
Times of Zambia