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Cheating Kitwe pastor given mob justice by congregates for snatching church member’s wife

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A Prayer session in the wee hours of Tuesday turned nasty for a Kitwe-based pastor who had to run for his life from members of the community who accused him of having an illicit affair with a woman he advised to divorce her husband.

Joel Bwalya, 34, a pastor at New Life Church demonstrated a clean pair of heels after residents of Racecourse Township slapped and punched him.

His pleas that he was conducting prayers at 04:00 hours at the woman’s house fell on deaf ears as residents continued beating him. He was only rescued by the neighborhood (security) watch group in the area who locked him up in their office as they looked for a taxi to take to the police station for his safety.

The ordeal started when Pastor Bwalya started praying in the woman’s house identified as Fortuner Mafuso aged 21 of Garnertone.

It is alleged that the cleric advised Mafuso to leave her husband. After Mafuso left her husband, Pastor Bwalya allegedly offered to rent a house for her in Racecourse Township where he started visiting at awkward hours much to the surprised of residents.
Neighbors later informed Mafuso’s mother about the alleged illicit affair.

At about 04:00 hours on Tuesday, Mafuso’s mother stormed her daughter’s house and found the pastor. She shouted at the pastor, calling him a prostitute, and this agitated the residents who stormed the house in numbers and dragged him out.

But Pastor Bwalya quickly ran to the neighborhood security watch offices together with Mafuso while residents escorted him with kicks, punches and slaps. Racecourse neighborhood watch Chairperson Everisto Chengo said Pastor Bwalya would have been killed had they not acted swiftly.

“There were a lot of people and as he was running towards our offices, he was being hit with fists and others were even slapping him,” he said. Chengo said he later organised a vehicle to take pastor Bwalya to Garnertone Police Station.

According to Pastor Bwalya, he went to Mafuso’s house at 04:00 hours to conduct prayers for a child who was unwell. Mafuso is said to have called him at midnight when the child fell ill.

A check at the Daily Mail at Garnertone Police Station found Mafuso seated under a tree while pastor Bwalya was still in the holding cell. Copperbelt Commissioner of Police Elias Chushi confirmed that Police officers were only keeping Pastor Bwalya and Mafuso for security reasons.

We have not detained him. Members of the public wanted to stone him to death and so we are keeping him for safety reasons,” Chushie said on Wednesday. He said Police would release the cleric once it was safe for him to go home.

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