Two members for Seventh Day Apostolic Church are in Police custody for allegedly abducting a 13-year-old boy in the eastern district of Balaka.
Balaka Police Public Relations Officer Joseph Sauka confirmed of the development in an interview with the press and identified the suspect as Davie Phiri, 38, and Gideon Dzonzi, 27.
According to Sauka, the two were arrested after the mother of the child launched a complaint that they were unlawfully keeping her child.
“According to the complainant, Catherine Njanji, her Form One child early October this year attended one of the preaching sessions by the suspects’ team and thereafter escaped from his home to join the congregation, thereby dropping out of school,” said Sauka.
According to Sauka, the mother later withdrew her son from the congregation and enrolled him at a private secondary school in the capital city Lilongwe where he also escaped, allegedly with the support of the accused.
“The parents were denied to take the child when they went to a place where the members of church had camped in Balaka until they later went with the police who arrested the suspects on abduction charges,” said Sauka.
Phiri comes from Malemia village, Traditional Authority Ngabu in Chikwawa while his co-accused Dzonzi is from Malandani village, Traditional Authority Mpama in Chiradzulu district.
Teachings of the Seventh Day Apostolic Church do not allow children to attend school, get employed or take medicine when they are sick.