THE comments by Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili on the incarceration of Pastor John Simfukwe for swindling a widow as reported in the Daily Mail edition of February 16, 2019 was spot on. The minister issued a timely warning that swindler ‘men of God’ do have their days numbered.
Simfukwe swindled a widow out of K260,000, which was part of her late husband’s employment terminal benefits. This earned him a five-year prison sentence to serve. Sending him to prison is most welcome.
Many Zambians, especially women and girls, have fallen prey to the so-called ‘men of God’ (but) who are just nothing but mere criminals.
The vigilant media in Zambia has often reported crimes callously perpetrated by clergymen. The crimes have included unpalatable ones like those of sexual nature committed almost with impunity by some pastors.
But the sending of Simfukwe to prison should not be considered enough. His church should have received an automatic deregistration immediately after the sentencing was passed by the Magistrate’s Court. It would have been more deterrent to others from attempting to take advantage of the vulnerable among flocks in many sects.
This calls for the State in our Christian nation, on its part, to initiate appropriate legislation against crimes that are committed using church names by fake prophets or whatever they are called. For once, the warning by Rev Sumaili should be deemed as providing hope that her Patriotic Front government is having goodwill on the matter of fake prophets.
I, for one, am not so worried about Zambia being declared a Christian nation. But what I envisage is having Zambia as a nation of Christians truly guided by sound principles based on the Bible. This is not the case today where hypocrisy is the order among the clergy.
I hope the ‘men of God’ in Zambia who have ears have heard Rev Sumaili’s prophetic warning after what happened to Simfukwe. They must refrain from committing felonies against people they are supposed to be leading to God’s salvation. I doubt they will do this because most of them believe so much in materialism. They must, therefore pay heavily for their sins.