By Dipo Olowookere
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has vehemently condemned the apparent arrest of Pastor George Chibubi, who was picked by the police in Ndola for organising a meeting with fellow pastors to discuss Zambia’s economic crisis.
A statement issued by the group quoted its general secretary, Rev Olav Fykse Tveit, as saying that, “We condemn the arrest, detainment and harassment of pastors and other people attempting to meet as part of a civil society discussing, in a democratic fashion, ways to improve the lives of people in Zambia.”
“The WCC stands in solidarity with the church leaders in Zambia as they attempt to communicate with the government and the people,” Rev Tveit added.
Rev Tveit has now joined other Zambian and international advocates urging President Edgar Lungu to release Pastor Chibubi as well as others who may be detained.
Alleged evidence of police brutality in Zambia has alarmed the world, Rev Tveit added. “Oppression and brutality have no place in creating a nation of peace that is sustainable for all,” he said.
Pastor Chibubi and other pastors had gathered to discuss the debt crisis when police were allegedly directed to arrest them. The meeting, convened by the Centre for Trade Policy and Development, drew more than 50 faith leaders. Leaders from that organization have been summoned by the police as well.
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