Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo today led a combined team of defence and security officers to clean the streets of Ndola, shutting down a Pentecostal Church and its illegal compound which houses hundreds of patients waiting for miracles.

The team, which started the exercise at 04:00 hours, removed stands on all streets of Ndola before going to Restoration Apostolic Pentecostal Church International where they found hundreds of patients in makeshift shelters.

The church is located in the Central Business District of Ndola and it is well known for healing services.

And when he addressed the patients at the church around 05:00 hours, Lusambo announced the closure of both the church and its illegal compound.

“Government will not allow its own people to be kept in unsanitary conditions at a time when the country is grappling with the cholera outbreak. How did you build this Church few meters from the Kafubu stream? From today, we are demolishing this structure, ” Lusambo told the Chur h overseer and the patients.

Church owner James Mwale, popularly known as YAKOBO YAKOBO miracle man, conceded that the compound was illegal and that his patients were living in unsanitary conditions.

“Give us more time as we improve the conditions here. There are a lot of people that come from far for prayers here. We are a Church and pray for people seeking healing,” pleaded Yakobo.

But Copperbelt Province Police Commissioner Charity Katanga ordered all patients to leave the church premises immediately failure to which she would unleash her officers on them.

“I am following the order from the provincial minister. So leave this place before I unleash my officers,” threatened Katanga.

Bulldozers and front end loaders later demolished the whole compound leaving the patients stranded with their belongings.

Some of the patients spoken to revealed that they came from as far as Livingstone, Lundazi and Kasama and they had stayed there for up to three months seeking healing.

Later in the afternoon, Copperbelt permanent secretary Bright Nundwe said he would rather demolish a Church than people die of Cholera.

“I would rather demolish a Church and save life. We have suspended and closed the Church. This is in the interest of safeguarding life,” Nundwe said.