Zambia: Fake Pastors Risk Having Churches De-Registered

BY Joseph Banda, Chila Namaiko (Times of Zambia)

Registrar of Societies Kakoma Kanganja has warned clergymen to desist from extorting money from members of the public or risk having their churches de-registered.

Reacting to complaints by some Choma residents that fake prophets were on the loose in the district with one of them swindling a family out of K1,000, Mr Kanganja said some practices constituted an offence.

The said prophet approached a bereaved family and pledged to conduct prayers in a bid to identify a person who killed their relative. After swindling the family, the prophet has since fled the area.
But Mr Kanganja said that no clergyman registered under his office was allowed to take advantage of people seeking prayers because that was against the law.

He said churches that wanted to operate as a business should register under the Patents and Companies Registration Authority (PACRA) so that they could be paying tax.
“Asking for money or cattle from people is illegal and if such pastors are not registered under any church they are still committing an offence,” Mr Kanganja said.

He said clergymen engaging in illegal activities should be reported to the police because his office did not register churches that had constitutions which stated that they would be asking for money in exchange for prayers.
Mr Kanganja said under CAP 119 Section 8 of the laws of Zambia, it was a serious offence for people to use the church or the Word of God to take advantage of the people.

He advised the people of Choma to identify which church the fake prophet belonged to so that it could be de-registered.
Mr Kanganja also advised established churches to always register their new branches because each congregation was supposed to be registered independently.

Categories: Africa

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