AUSTINE Obosele, a Nigerian pastor who was arrested on Tuesday by a joint operation of immigration and police officers in Lusaka for refusing deportation, says he is being targeted as known government officials have been asking for a K30,000 bribe from him to facilitate his stay.
And government will not renew the employment permit of Pastor Augustine Oso Ebosele of Omega Fire Ministries because his conduct has divided the congregation into two parties, says Government spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga.
Pastor Obosele said that he had presented tangible evidence of corruption to both the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Religious and National Guidance but that it was largely ignored.
Pastor Obosele explained he had been trying to renew his immigration documentation but that a named senior official from the Ministry of Religious National Guidance had vowed to see to it that the pastor was deported, upon him refusing to give him K30, 000 which he had demanded.
He said that some expelled members of the church had teamed up with the government officials so that they could take over the church, money in the church account and properties after his deportation.
Pastor Obosele said that some suspended members of the church had reported falsehoods about him to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, which they investigated but did not find any fault.
“I got a call from one man from Religious Affairs. This man can call thirty times in one minute, I don’t know how much they gave him. I went to the office to see him at his office, there he accused me of a lot and lots of things.
“From there he told me that I needed to cooperate with him because my deportation order is already on his table. He said if I don’t cooperate he would have me deported and I should give him K30, 000, to which I questioned whether it was his ministry that deported people,” he explained.
Pastor Obosele said that when his documents were up for renewal, he submitted to the Immigration but that he had found it difficult as was promised to get his papers cleared.
Omega Fire Ministries administrator, Lackson Mwanza also confirmed this information to the Daily Nation and said that the pastor was still in police custody.
And Ms Mulenga who issued the statement in Lusaka yesterday said the State through the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs would not renew the work permit of pastor Ebosele as his conduct was likely to divide the congregation.
Ms Mulenga who is Minister of Information and Broadcasting said it was feared that the pastor’s continued stay in Zambia and the acrimony in Omega Fire Minsietries could result into the breakdown of law and order.