Police have arrested a pastor in Chingola, Zambia, who was suspected of trafficking young children between the ages of two and 8-years-old from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The arrest was reported by the Zambia Post on Wednesday and concerned a 35-year-old pastor, Moses Kamba Ndanji, who claimed he was a member of the Church of Christ in the Chabanyama Township and was chaperoning the children for a party in Chingola.
Milner Muyambango, a deputy commissioner of police from Copperbelt, shared with the Zambia Daily Mail that all the children were Congolese, and the man did not have travel documents for any of them.
“We have arrested a named pastor from a Pentecostal church in Chingola for trafficking 17 children between the ages of two and eight years. The pastor was intercepted at Konkola checkpoint around 14:00 hours and taken to the police for questioning,” the deputy commissioner said.
Although the parents of the children have admitted to knowing the pastor, Ndanji is being accused of trafficking the children into Zambia -- presumably in order to protect them from potential violent clashes in DR Congo as a result of the elections.
The elections, which were held on Nov. 28, caused turmoil throughout the country and resulted in five people being killed, Fox News reported. Armed assailants attacked voting booths and trucks and got into shootouts with police which caused the violent bloodshed.
The reports have made it unclear whether the parents of the children in Congo asked the pastor to bring them into Zambia in order to protect them, but police have decided to take action by arresting the pastor and holding an investigation into what his real motives were.
The deputy commissioner explained that the Immigration Department is working with Zambian police forces in order to curb human trafficking, which is a growing problem in the nation.