Power and Politics

Govt apologizes to Catholic Church over reported harassment of Kabwe Bishop, Mulenga


Government has apologised to the Catholic Church for reportedly harassing its Kabwe Bishop, Clement Mulenga, who was on Friday roughened up by police officers.

The apology was made by Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister, Jack Mwiimbu.

Police officers on Friday reportedly stormed Bishop Mulenga’s office where the former president, Edgar Lungu, was paying a courtesy call to the clergy man on his way to the Copperbelt.

The police took that move on the premise that Lungu was not supposed to be there as they were not informed.

Government, however, through Mwiimbu said the incident that happened in Kabwe was not intented to harass the church or anybody who interacted with the church.

Read more: Fr Mukosa: Concerns rise as UPND faces accusations of intimidating church leaders

“We would like to sincerely apologise to the church, the catholic church pertaining to the incidence that happened in Kabwe, it has never been the intention of the government to harass the church or harass anybody who interact with the church, we are always looking forward to working with the church.

“I would like to state that the incident is very unfortunate and it’s regrettable and we like to urge our law enforcement officers whenever issues of a similar nature occur to exercise maximum restraint when it comes to dealing with the church,’’ he said.

Mwiimbu stated the government cherished the relationship that existed with the church, saying it was not the opponent of their partner.

He said it was the responsibility of the police to ensure that Lungu was provided with security in the interest of the nation.

“I am aware of a trending video showing Mr. Lungu in the office of our Catholic priest in Kabwe, where they were engaged in a conservation with a police officer, we recognise that Mr Lungu is free to go where he pleases but that, however, it should be noted that as a distinct leader, he cannot fall in the same category with other opposition political leaders due to his status as a former head of state,’’ Mwiimbu said.

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