After Days in Hospital, Zambian Bishop Succumbs to COVID-19-related Complications

Bishop Moses Hamungole of Zambia’s Monze Diocese succumbed to COVID-19 complications Wednesday, January 2021.

Bishop Moses Hamungole of Zambia’s Monze Diocese who has been battling COVID-19-related complications has passed on.

Bishop Hamungole, 53, passed on while receiving care for the coronavirus at the Lusaka-based Levy Mwanawasa Hospital on Wednesday, January 13. 

The Bishop’s death comes days after he sent out a message saying that he is “in stable condition in hospital” after testing positive for COVID-19 on January 2 at Monze Mission Hospital. 

“I am well taken care of here and there is no reason to worry about. I'm calm and confident to pull through this COVID-19 attack,” Bishop Hamungole said January 4 in a Facebook post.

He added, “I have remained in stable condition. Yesterday evening they resumed the treatment and I have been told my oxygen levels were fine.”

The Zambian Bishop also confirmed that he had been transferred to Levy Mwanawasa Hospital “where they have better facilities for COVID-19 patients.” 

Ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Lusaka in August 1994, the late Bishop has been at the helm of Monze Diocese since May 2014.

At the time of his death, Bishop Hamungole was also serving as the Chairman of the Commission for Social Communications of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB).

He was also the Chairman of the department of Social Communications at the Nairobi-based Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).

Prior to his Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Hamungole served as the head of English Africa section of the Rome-based Vatican Radio.

Bishop Hamungole is the first Catholic Bishop known to have contracted the coronavirus in his country where 31,100 cases have been reported, including 509 deaths and 21,568 recoveries.

In Africa, the President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Phillip Cardinal Ouédraogo, tested positive for the coronavirus in April 2020 and later recovered. Earlier, in March 2020, the Vicar Apostolic of Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, succumbed to the virus.

In August, the Bishop of Nigeria’s Yola Diocese also tested positive for COVID-19 and later recovered. 

The Archbishop of Kenya’s Nyeri Archdiocese who recovered from the disease expressed appreciation to the people of God in the East African nation, thanking them for journeying with him in prayers as he battled with  COVID-19.

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

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