A NDOLA pastor has been ordered to pay K20,000 for damaging the virginity of a 17-year-old girl, who went for prayers at his church.
The pastor, who impregnated the girl in 2015, failed to support his child and disappeared after naming the baby.
Pastor Vincent Sakala, 43, of Rivers of Hope Church, was dragged to court by the father of the girl, Benjamin Katwamba.
Mr Katwamba demanded compensation from the ‘man of God’ for damaging his daughter’s virginity.
He told the court that he used to live in Mufulira while his daughter, Purity Kunda, lived with his sister in Ndola.
Mr Katwamba said he was informed that his daughter was pregnant and had identified Pastor Sakala as the man responsible for her pregnancy.
“We sat down and the pastor agreed being responsible and paid K20 icisumina mulandu (admission of guilt fine) and left K200 for taking care of the girl during her pregnancy,” he said.
Mr Katwamba was testifying before Mapalo Local Court senior presiding magistrate Judith Bwalya sitting with Ntembe Sakala.
He said when the child was born, Pastor Sakala only named her, as Winfridah, and disappeared.
Pastor Sakala never supported the child.
Mr Katwamba said he had been looking for the pastor since 2016 so that he could charge him money for damage, but only managed to locate him in 2017.
He said whenever he asked the pastor to sit down and discuss, he never showed up and that was the reason he decided to sue him.
“I want him to pay me K20,000 for damaging my daughter and neglecting her,” he said.
Purity said she met Pastor Sakala when she lived with her aunt in Chipulukusu Township where she sought prayers over a continuous headache and bleeding.
She said she started going for prayers at a house belonging to a clergyman called Pastor Sam, where she met Pastor Sakala.
She said Pastor Sakala would regularly propose to marry her, but she told him she was not ready for marriage.
“One day I was sent by Pastor Sam to collect anointing oil from Pastor Sakala’s place. When I reached there I found his wife was not around and that was when the pastor forced himself on me,” she said.
The girl said after some weeks he asked her whether she was pregnant or not, but she told him that she did not know.
Purity said she went to a clinic after some months and was told she was pregnant and was also HIV positive.
“I told the pastor that I was pregnant and he even came home and paid cisumina mulandu and I even started going to his church,” she said.
The young mother said when she went to give birth, Pastor Sakala did not show up and that she found another woman at the clinic who the pastor had gone to see.
The woman told her she was also giving birth to his child.
Purity said from there she had not seen the ‘man of God’.
She reported him to the Victim Support Unit.
But the pastor’s relatives pleaded that the case be withdrawn and started supporting the child with K150 per month.
In his statement, Pastor Sakala said Purity went to Pastor Sam for healing but Pastor Sam’s wife did not want to live with her in the same house.
He said the girl then went to live with a man named Bashi Joshua and that when she used to go for prayers they discovered that she had been raped before she started going for deliverance.
“I told Mr Katwamba that I was responsible for her pregnancy but I was not the one who damaged her virginity as she had been raped before I even met her,” he said.
The pastor said he sat down with the family and even paid the money to show that he had accepted that he was the one responsible for the pregnancy.
Pastor Sakala said he did not refuse to meet Mr Katwamba to discuss the money and that the time he was looking for him, he had travelled out of Ndola.
He said the money Mr Katwamba was asking for was too much and that he could not afford to pay such an amout because he had a family to take care of.
In passing judgment, the court ordered Pastor Sakala to compensate Mr Katwamba with K20,000 for damaging his daughter’s virginity with the first instalment of K1,000 thereafter K250 monthly.