United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema says his party has been vindicated by the revocation of the deportation Order of Rwandese Catholic Priest Viatuer Banyangadora.
The PF government was forced to revoke the deportation of the Rwandese priest after the recent pressure and diminishing support from the Catholic church that was one of the main ally during last-years elections.
The Catholic Church supported the PF after branding the MMD dictatorial but were shocked to be among the first victims of President Michael Sata’s intolerance when Fr Banyangandora was deported for delivering a sermon that said the “poor were becoming poorer while the rich were becoming richer.”
This was after farmers in Lundazi complained of poor cotton prices which the PF government was giving a deaf ear. Fr Banyangandora was abducted by intelligence officers and ferried to Lusaka before he was put on an immediate flight to Rwanda.
The development infuriated the opposition, civil society and Catholic Church as it was done without following the due process of the law and against the principles of natural justice.
Yesterday home affairs minister Edgar Lungu said at a press briefing in his office that the revocation of the deportation order followed consultations with various members of the Catholic Church and was in line with “the Bible teachings to forgive one another in the love of Christ.”
Mr. Hichilema says the revocation of the deportation order clearly proves that the UPND’s criticism on the leadership style of the PF government is made in good faith.
And Mr. Hichilema has condemned deputy Inspector General of police Solomon Jere whom he said was trying to cover up the information that was gathered by the junior officers in Rufunsa that PF cadres were armed with guns during a local government bye- election in that area.
He has since threatened to lodge a complaint with the International Court of Justice on the alleged unprofessional conduct of the police.
Mr. Hichilema was speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka today.