Lusaka Province police commissioner Nelson Phiri has summoned for interrogation Pastor Kangwa Chileshe, the convener of thanksgiving prayers on the release of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and five others who were charged with treason.
Police have since surrounded the Cathedral of the Holy Cross where the thanksgiving prayers were scheduled to take place at 14:00 hours today.
The City of Refuge Ministries and other ministries had announced a thanksgiving service following the release from a four-month detention in jail of UPND leader Hichilema and five others who were charged with treason.
However, hours before the thanksgiving service, Phiri summoned Pastor Chileshe for questioning at Central Police.
Armed police also were deployed to seal off the venue of the proposed thanksgiving service.
Yes, it’s true, I have been summoned over the same thing; the thanksgiving meeting at 14:00 hours. I got a call from Central Police, from the Lusaka Division commissioner [Phiri] saying I can’t go ahead with that prayer meeting because I didn’t consult them, I didn’t get a permit from them and secondly because I didn’t write a letter and seek approval from the Ministry of Religious Affairs. So I told them that ‘I can’t do that because this is a prayer service [to God]; it’s not a political rally. Should I ask for permission for a church service? Which law requires me to get a permit for a church service?’ So he has summoned me to go to the police station, I am actually getting ready to go there,
said Pastor Chileshe who is currently still being questioned by police.