12 Churchgoers detained: Pentecostal members held in Mpika

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POLICE in Mpika District of Muchinga Province are holding in custody Twelve Pentecostal Holiness Association congregants for going against the government’s directive on church gatherings in view of COVID-19.

Muchinga Province Police Commissioner Joel Njase confirmed the development to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Mpika yesterday.

According to the Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Silwamba, 42, who pastors Pentecostal Holiness Association in Mpika was found congregating with close to 100 church members around 10:00 hours on Sunday.

This is the second time the church is holding services after the directive that no such gatherings are to take place.

Engineer Njase said that the twelve have been arrested for contravening Statutory Instrument No. 21 and 22.

The Commissioner has since advised community members to comply with the measures Government has put in place.

And speaking in an interview with ZANIS, Pastor Geoffrey Silwamba said that he was aware of the directive on church gatherings and that the church service was held to pray for the nation against COVID-19.

Pastor Silwamba said that he has been finding it difficult to stay away from the church and not preaching the gospel.

All twelve congregants are still in Police custody.

Government through Statutory Instrument number 21 22 of 2020 banned huge gatherings and further directed that all church gatherings be suspended till further notice to halt the further spread of COVID-19 pandemic. – ZANIS

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