A MPIKA Pastor on Wednesday wept uncontrollably as the Mpika Magistrates’ Court fined him K1,500 in default serve nine months imprisonment with hard labour for neglecting to provide necessities to his son.
This is in a case in which Glorious Church pastor Steven Bwalya, 45, of TAZARA compound in Mpika, was charged with neglecting to provide necessities contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
Glorious Church allegedly tells its members not to take the sick for medical treatment but believes in healing prayers, an allegation the church leaders have since dismissed.
Pastor Bwalya appeared before Mpika magistrate John Phiri. It was alleged that between July 1 and August 1, this year, Bwalya wilfully and unlawfully failed to provide medical necessities to one of his children, thereby injuring his health.
Pastor Bwalya, who pleaded guilty to the charge, told the court that he thought the child would get better with time even if he did not take him to the hospital.
State prosecutor Likando Muhau told the court in the statement of facts that TAZARA police received a tip from the public that a man in the area was keeping a sick child in the house.
He stated that when police took up the matter and approached the accused person, they found his son with severe malaria and marasmus and was taken to Michael Chilufya Data Centre where he is currently undergoing treatment.
Upon Bwalya’s plea of guilty and admission of the facts being true and correct, the court convicted him accordingly.
In his mitigation, Bwalya, who broke down, asked the court to forgive him as he had seven children who would suffer if he was sent to prison.
Magistrate Phiri then sentenced pastor Bwalya to a fine of K1,500 in default serve nine months imprisonment with hard labour.