President Michael Sata has threatened to sort out Chipata Catholic Diocese Bishop George Lungu with unspecified action for holding prayers and allowing constitution advocates to converge at St Antanazio Parish in the Eastern Province administrative capital last week.
Following a successful meeting by the Grand Coalition pushing the release of the draft constitution, intelligence officers informed President Sata about the proceedings. The information given to President Sata was detailed with those in attendance pictured while organizers clearly named.
Bishop Lungu was named as one of the main organizers critical of President Sata’s decision to renegade on the campaign promise to enact a new people driven constitution within 90 days of assuming power.
Immediately President Sata was given a detailed briefing about the activities of the constitution meeting which the Grand Coalition is taking countrywide, he picked the phone and called Bishop Lungu.
A visibly threatened Bishop Lungu revealed the chilling conversation with President Sata to his congregants last Sunday but declared he was ready to die for Zambia.
During homily at St Mary’s Seminary, Bishop Lungu revealed that President Sata called him last week Monday pouring accusations on him of allowing civil society organizations, the church and opposition members to converge at St Antanazio Parish for the constitution meeting.
When Bishop Lungu attempted to put up a defence and explain to President Sata that it was within the citizen’s right to demand that which was theirs, he was told to be careful.
President Sata then unleashed on him saying he ought to watch his steps and mark his boundaries by staying clear of the constitution debate for if he did not, he’ll be sorted out.
A local Catholic Radio Station, Radio Maria carried a news item on Sunday in which it also reported Bishop Lungu’s revelations of the encounter with a seething President Sata.
President Sata is in the habit of calling political critics and opponents either threathening them to cow into submission or dangling carrots to toll the line of the government of the day.
In August 2012, President Michael Sata ordered the deportation of a Rwandese Catholic priest Fr Viateur Banyangandora who was at the time based in Lundazi, Eastern Province for a sermon bordering on the cotton crisis in which he stated the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer.
Fr Banyangandora was returned to Zambia after a vicious campaign among the Catholics that threatened President Sata’s popularity.