Questionable Police Conduct Overshadows President Lungu’s Visit to Church in Kabwe

Questionable Police Conduct Overshadows President Lungu’s Visit to Church in Kabwe

In a concerning incident that has raised eyebrows about the state of democratic freedoms in the country, police in Kabwe allegedly stormed the office of Bishop Clement Mulenga and demanded that former President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s scheduled visit be immediately canceled.

The visit, which was intended as a courtesy call, was met with heavy-handed police intervention, much to the surprise and dismay of President Lungu and Bishop Mulenga. Recounting the events, President Lungu expressed shock at the police’s actions, stating, “This morning I arrived in Kabwe to pay a courtesy call on Bishop Clement Mulenga but shockingly police have stormed his office and are demanding that my visit to this parish is cancelled immediately.”

The situation only escalated from there, with President Lungu and Bishop Mulenga seemingly attempting to navigate the tense environment carefully. During their meeting, President Lungu suggested “driving away from the school so that we do not cause unnecessary tension,” and stated, “We sneak out of this place quietly and if they take us on so be it, we are free people.”

The apparent heavy-handed police presence and interference with a private meeting between the President and a religious leader raises troubling questions about the application of the Public Order Act and the degree to which democratic freedoms are being respected in the country.

President Lungu’s own words suggest a pattern of “infringement with the rule of law” and “hypocrisy,” sentiments echoed by Bishop Mulenga’s Catholic Sister, who stated that she was “being interrogated, threatened as to why I have allowed you to come here.”

This incident comes at a time when the government’s treatment of opposition and dissenting voices has been the subject of intense scrutiny both domestically and internationally. The apparent disregard for the President’s right to freely visit a church, and the intimidation of religious leaders, only serves to further erode public trust in the country’s democratic institutions.

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