“Highly irregular”: Zambian Church Leaders on Summoning of Catholic Priest by Police

Fr. Chewe Mukosa

Church leaders in Zambia have condemned the police for summoning a Catholic Priest in the country, and described the incident as “highly irregular and contradictory.”

Zambian police are said to have  summoned Fr. Chewe Mukosa to appear before the Copperbelt Police Headquarters “for the purpose of investigations” on Tuesday April 9.

The police later issued a statement withdrawing the summon and urged the member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (OFM Conv.) not to appear before them saying, “After reassessment of the situation, it has been determined that there is no need for his immediate appearance or involvement in any ongoing investigations or inquiries.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Rae Hamoonga, said the Catholic Priest had been summoned “to provide a statement regarding remarks made during a religious gathering, which were deemed to potentially constitute hate speech.” 

In a Wednesday, April 10 statement,  members of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) and the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) found it “highly irregular and unacceptable that contradictory statements and actions have emerged regarding Fr. Chewe Mukosa's situation especially from two senior government offices.”


“This situation undermines transparency, accountability, and the rule of law, all of which are crucial for a functioning and democratic society,” the Church leaders said. 

They called upon Zambian authorities to “clarify the circumstances surrounding Fr. Chewe Mukosa's case, ensure accountability for any wrongful actions or misinformation, and uphold the principles of justice and fairness for all citizens.” 

The Church leaders emphasized their stance against “any form of harassment, intimidation, or undue pressure on individuals, especially religious leaders, who exercise their freedom of speech and expression responsibly.”

“This includes any attempts to silence them, discredit their message or interfere with their ability to carry out their mission,” they said, adding that the  role of the church in advocating for righteousness, justice and the well-being of society “must be respected and protected at all times.”

“We remain committed to promoting peace, justice, and respect for human rights in Zambia and urge all stakeholders to work together to address challenges and build a society based on mutual trust, respect, and integrity,” the Church leaders said.

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