Zambia News

Police in Ndola summon Catholic Priest for Good Friday sermon on load shedding

Police in Ndola have summoned a Catholic Priest for questioning for preaching against load shedding and high cost of living when he delivered his Good Friday message. In a call-out notice signed by Detective Inspector, P. Chisala, the Police have demanded that Father Chewe Mukosa reports himself to Investigations Office Room 55 at Copperbelt Division Headquarters in Ndola.

In his Good Friday sermon which has gone viral, the Kitwe based catholic priest, Father Andrew Chewe Mukosa, bemoaned the high cost of living, high unemployment rates and load-shedding affecting communities in the country.

He said Zambians were commemorating Good Friday and Easter Holidays under very difficult circumstances. And Kanchibiya Member of Parliament Sunday Chanda has condemned the Police for summoning Fr. Mukosa. He said the move is totally uncalled for.

“Let me also point out that the Church is the conscience of the nation. In a nation said to be Christian, is this what you can do to clergy holding different views? So if all priests start to preach in similar manner, will you summon and arrest them all?”

He added, “Sadly it is this type of zeal that’s brought down many African governments and no one seems to learn. To the Police – This excitement is uncalled for and extremely careless. Learn from the past including those who have gone before you and become wiser. Mr. Chanda said it is a no brainer that on this matter the court of public opinion will side with the Priest for he committed no offence at all.

“We have real criminals the Police must be pursuing and not the clergy. 60 years after Independence such must not even grace the headlines of our media outlets at all – Please do not gag divergent views. For warned is for armed. Those concerned must take judicial notice.”

In light of recent events surrounding the police callout to Father Andrew Chewe Mukosa, Dr. Nevers Mumba, President of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), has issued a statement addressing the matter.

Dr.Nevers Mumba said church leaders should be free to speak on any issue and that not all arrests are sanctioned by the presidency.

Mumba affirmed the principle that church leaders should have the freedom to address any issue affecting their congregants, whether it aligns with the government’s stance or opposes it. He emphasized that the Bible encompasses both spiritual and socio-economic issues, and leaders should only face apprehension if they violate the law through their conduct or speech.

Turning his attention to the police response to Father Mukosa’s statements, Mumba expressed concern about insinuations suggesting that President Hichilema directed the police to take action against the Catholic priest. He characterized such views as indicative of the polarized and toxic nature of Zambian politics. Mumba stressed the independence of the police service, acknowledging that while they can make both sound and erroneous judgments, the judicial system is in place to discern between the two.

Contrary to the assumption that the presidency controls all state institutions, Mumba emphasized that President Hichilema, like all citizens, would be interested in understanding the rationale behind the police action. He urged against malicious assumptions, highlighting the need for clarity on whether Father Mukosa was summoned to address his statements or for another matter entirely.

Mumba cautioned against the antiquated notion that presidents wield unchecked power over law enforcement agencies to target political adversaries. While acknowledging historical instances of such abuses, he emphasized that it is not universally applicable to all cases.

Dr. Mumba’s statement serves as a call for reasoned discourse and a rejection of baseless political conjectures. He underscored the importance of respecting institutional independence and avoiding unfounded allegations against the presidency. As the situation unfolds, clarity and transparency are essential in understanding the motivations behind the police’s actions.

Source: BBC

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