The eight have since been charged with arson, proposing violence and assault.
It was reported that the elder at the church, aged 52 and resides at the same church, has a 30-year-old son who has been sick for some time.
“It is alleged that the mother in-law of the Church elder’s son who is sick went with a witch doctor at the house of the Elder…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 Church elder 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 wallfence to the church,” Police spokesperson Esther Katongo has stated.
When police rushed to the area to contain the situation, an 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 Overspill, who is the mother in-law of the patient, Steve Mwanza aged 29 of Chazanga, who the witch doctor involved, Jered Banda ,aged 25 of Chipata Compound, Michael Mwanza aged 35 of Chipata Overspill, Steve Kalusa, aged 35 of Chazanga Compound, Felix Kasonde, aged 27, of Chipata Compound, James Bwalya aged 20, of Chipata Compound and Caleb Ndalemeke, aged 45, of Chipata overspill,” Ms Katongo stated.
All the suspects are detained in police custody.
©Zambia Reports 2020.