CHURCH WRANGLE DRAGS IN POLICE

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…over appointment of new leader

By SANDRA MACHIMA

THE wrangles surrounding the New Apostolic Church leadership has sucked in the Zambia Police Service.

A faction of aggrieved members has asked the Inspector General of Police to intervene during the live telecast of a national church service on Sunday.

The wrangle revolves around the imminent retirement of current district apostle Charles Ndandula and who should replace him.

In a letter addresswed to the Zambia Police Service signed by Deacon Ngonga Saasa the faction alleged that the church was in the process of deploying police officers at a place of worship and use some church members as police officers to attack innocent members who were against the idea of appointing district apostle helper Kububa Soko to replace Apostle Ndandula.

Deacon Saasa said the church administration has had an internal impasse on the replacement of Apostle Ndandula, as the district apostle who had allegedly been appointed to take over from him as district apostle for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe was not eligible.

He said the issue should have been left to congregants to appoint a leader of their choice on merit.

Deacon Saasa said engaging the police chief was the only way to address the scheme of wanting to intimidate members who wanted to attend the service.

“As we speak, a church service is scheduled to be conducted by the visiting Chief Apostle, Jean Luc Schneider, from New Apostolic Church International based in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 21, 2019 at the Lusaka Central Congregation, Longacres,” the letter read.

At the service on Sunday, Deacon Saasa wrote, Apostle Ndandula will be retired and the disputed appointment of a new district apostle will be made.

“And kindly note that there are numerous Zambia Police (ZP) officers in the New Apostolic Church who are being unofficially deployed in their civil church uniforms who are scheming intimidation tactics to silence anyone with a grievance,” the letter read in part.

Deacon Saasa said the deployment of police, officially or unofficially, against believers who were aggrieved over allegations of abuse of office and its operations was a violation of members’ right to assemble for worship.

“We believe that it is an abuse of power and authority on the part of the church administration; to unofficially deploy state machinery on such a purely civil matter under the pretext of security concerns, and also the deployment of heavy police guard for the upcoming events by the church administration to scare away and silence the aggrieved church members,” he said.

Two camps have emerged, with majority wanting Robert Nsamba to take over from Apostle Ndandula and not Mr Soko.

The aggrieved faction has asked the visiting Chief Apostle to rescind the decision to appoint Mr Soko as district apostle.

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