Police in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital, Lilongwe, on Monday detained former Zambian first lady Vera Chiluba together with a Nigerian pastor who was accused of soliciting money by false pretence.
One of Malawian pastors Reverend Ian Longwe said this in an interview this week.
ChilubaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s detention follows an incident in 2007 when government deported opposition leader Michael Sata, who was elected Zambian president last year.
Chiluba, who was wife to former Zambian president Fredrick Chiluba, and Prophet Sunday Chikwui, were both detained at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe and later, police took the Nigerian pastor to police headquarters where he was released.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was very shameful and embarrassing for police to detain the former first lady of Zambia Vera Chiluba without the knowledge of the Zambian High Commission. She was told not to move and go anywhere at the hotel.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“She was freed after police learnt that she was former Zambian first lady,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Longwe.
Central Region Police spokesperson John Namalenga, however, said they only arrested the prophet and not Chiluba and other three people who also came with the prophet.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The prophet came with four other people, but he was the only one arrested because he is the one who committed the offence,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Namalenga.
According to Longwe, who runs the World of Faith Bible Church, the former Zambian first lady came with the prophet for a week-long crusade held at Lilongwe Pentecostal Church.
The Nigerian prophet, who runs Daba Ministries International, was granted bail on Tuesday and flew out of the country the same day.
Police said at the time of his arrest, the prophet was found in possession of K711 345 (about $4 260) in his hotel room after he was reported to have been soliciting money in exchange for prayers for healing and financial breakthroughs.
Longwe added that police searched for guns and drugs in the prophetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hotel room.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I saw the policeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s search warrant. They were looking for cocaine. It was alleged that the prophet had drugs, firearms and was running an illegal business without permit and was forcing people to pay him money,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Longwe then accused President Bingu wa MutharikaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s advisers of influencing police to arrest the visiting prophet because he said the prophet prayed for their fall for misleading the Malawi leader on governance.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The prophet said that Malawi is a great country and has a great leader, but the people around him are wrong. He said we must pray that God should bring them down and raise genuine people who can tell the President the truth.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He said the President needs people who can be committed to him for the development of the country and not for money. One presidential adviser called a police commissioner to order the arrest of the pastor,Ã¢â‚¬Â he claimed.
Longwe said several top government officials, including ministers and members of Parliament, attended the crusade.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why should a man of God be embarrassed because of the little K700 000 [about $4 192]? Are you saying we can fail to raise K700 000 for the man of God. We gave him the money to pay for his accommodation at the hotel,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Longwe.