By Prudence Siabana
Police in Lusaka have arrested eight people for Arson, Proposing Violence and Assault which occurred on 12th January, 2020 between 19:00 hours and 23:20 hours in Lusaka’s Chipata Overspill Compound in which a church called Bethel Church of Zambia was burnt by a mob on suspicion that there was a Mermaid in the Church.
It was reported that the Pastor at the church who is aged 52 who resides at the same church has a sick son aged 30 who has been sick for some time.
It is alleged that the mother in-law of the Pastor’s son who is sick went with a witch doctor at the house of the Pastor who is the father of the patient.
Whilst there, the Witch doctor alleged that there was a Mermaid (ilomba) in the Church and that for him to cure the patient, he needed to go inside the Church to perform some rituals.
The Pastor refused to allow him and this infuriated the mother in-law to the patient and the witch doctor who allegedly incited a mob that had gathered.
The mob stoned and set the Church ablaze and also razed down the wall fence to the church.
Police rushed to the area and managed to contain the situation however one police officer was stoned and he sustained a cut on the left cheek.
The Church building had its doors and windows damaged while the plastic chairs and some benches were burnt, and some were stolen.
Those arrested are Beatrice Manda aged 47 of Chipata over spill who is the mother in-law of the patient, Steve Mwanza aged 29 of Chazanga who a witch doctor involved, Jered Banda aged 25 of Chipata Compound, Michael Mwanza aged 35 of have Chipata Overspill, Steve Kalusa aged 35 of Chazanga Compound, Felix Kasonde aged 27 have of Chipata Compound, James Bwalya aged 20 of Chipata Compound and Caleb Ndalemeke aged 45 of Chipata overspill.
Zambia Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo told Phoenix News the suspects are all detained in police custody.
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