About 25 churches in Kitwe are operating illegally be cause they are not registered with the Registrar of Societies and reportedly harbouring illegal immigrants.

The exposure came about after a random check by Home Affairs ministry, Zambia Police Service, Immigration Department offic ers led by the Chief Registrar of Societies Mr Kakoma Kanganja who found about 25 churches in Kwacha, Bulangililo and Ipusukilo townships were operating illegally and some of them were harbouring illegal immigrants.

Many Pentecostal churches were praying from classrooms of government schools like Lulamba Basic School in Bulangililo Township and Ipusukilo town- ship in Ipusukilo township.

About eight illegal immigrants among them one Nigerian and seven Congolese were apprehended and detained at River- side Police Station for screening during the random check.

Mr Kanganja said the churches were not registered with the Registrar of Societies and appealed to them to quickly registered and get the relevant documents.

“We respect the Church, but what we want is that the churches to be registered and have genuine documents. We don’t want churches to operate illegally like we have seen here where some of the churches do not have documents.

“It is important that the com- ply with the law, instead of operating illegally. The church should lead the way in law abiding,” Mr Kanganja said.

The Home Affairs team doing the random check was shocked to find that, at both Lulamba and Ipusukilo primary schools, al- most all the classrooms had been turned into churches.