CONGREGANTS at the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) in Kitwe’s Ipusukilo yesterday locked the church, demanding the removal of their church treasurer for alleged failure to account for K40,000 meant for a church project.
The church, which normally has a service at 08:30 hours, was shut by angry congregants. When the doors were opened after 10:00 hours the congregants were divided on whether the service should go ahead.
A check at the church after 10:00 hours, found some congregants outside the church, while a handful were inside singing hymns.
Other members opted to go back home after church secretary Lucky Mubanga persuaded some congregants to go inside and listen to the sermon.
The church service started at 12:00 hours and lasted only 30 minutes.
A church member, Mcclaudy Mbewe, said in an interview that the congregants are aggrieved by alleged failure by the church to account for the money that they contributed towards the purchase of a church plot.
“We wanted the church treasurer to tell us where the money we contributed towards the purchase of a plot is, but we are told the book in which records are kept is lost. This is our hard-earned money and we have the right to know what happened to it,” he said.
And during his sermon, Mr Mubanga called for unity among congregants for the church to grow.
“Let us ignore what happened in the morning. We need to remain united. What happened in the morning is the work of the devil,” Mr Mubanga said.
During offering time, some congregants were heard murmuring, while others were hesitant to give.
The church leadership at Ipusukilo refused to comment on the matter and referred all queries to UCZ Copperbelt Presbytery bishop Sydney Sichilima whose mobile phones were outside coverage area by press time.
Last month, UCZ members at Northrise congregation in Ndola blocked the usual Sunday service demanding the removal of their church leader Reverend Barbara Chilombo, whom they accused of mismanagement and disrespect for church members.