Clergyman castigates but church leaders

World AIDS Day

A clergyman in Chipata has castigated some charismatic pastors who discourage people that are on Anti-retroviral therapy from taking their drugs.

Eastern Province Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) Chairperson, Bishop Wedston Banda, said the charismatic pastors were not doing good to people living with HIV by asking them to stop taking medication and concentrate on prayers.

Bishop Banda said only God can heal people that were sick and not any person, adding that the role of the pastors was to offer prayers to people.

He was speaking during an Inter-faith memorial prayer service for the candle light on the eve of the World AIDS Day held at Bread of Life Church in Chipata on Saturday.

Bishop Banda wondered whether the same charismatic pastors were members of the EFZ because they never even attended meetings for the clergy under EFZ.

“Those that practice charismatic prayers discourage people on ARVs from taking their drugs. Their actions do not portray the beliefs of EFZ because we believe that only God has the power to heal,” he said.

And EFZ Regional Vice Chairperson, Michael Njovu challenged people to show love to one another.

Reverend Njovu said there was need to show love especially to the sick by caring for them regardless of their status.

He said those that were HIV negative were supposed to care for those who were HIV positive.

And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chileshe Mulenga said churches have a long tradition of pastoral, Education and Health care, saying they were well placed to play a crucial role of in HIV prevention and care at community level.

Dr Mulenga was speaking in a speech read for him by his Acting Assistant Secretary, Beenzu Chikuba.

He commended religious mother bodies for coming together to pray so that the HIV and AIDS pandemic could be put to a halt.