Pastors fight in Malawi over ownership of church


Two pastors at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa yesterday exchanged blows over ownership of a church at the camp.

Church members joined the fight and police have since arrested 11 people – five males and six females.

The suspects have been identified as Subimana Luwis, 56, Ndikuliyo Yusuf, 39, Itsapayo Innocent, 40, Ngendakumana Theodore, 19, Bigirimana Osikali, 41, Shimilimana Meriana, 38, Devine Irakoze, 18, Deborah Ntakirutimana, 22 and Niyomzima Jeanine, 32. Two of those arrested are children aged 16 and 17.  All the suspects Burundian nationals from Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

The incident occurred at the premises of Jesus Christ Witness Pentecostal Church within the camp in Dowa.

Dowa Police spokesperson Gladson M’bumpha said the two pastors of the church have been fighting for some time over the ownership of the church on who is the founder.

Then on Saturday afternoon both pastors met at the church for prayers and in course of this, one of the pastors grabbed the other, resulting into a serious fight.

Some other church members joined the fight resulting into the injury of one pastor.

Upon receipt of the matter, police rushed to the scene and arrested 11 members of the church. The suspects have been charged with the offence of affray.

Meanwhile, police are also expected to meet UNHCR officials to map the way forward on the case as it is in record that UNHCR has knowledge of the case.