Father Luonde Sues Church

ANGLICAN priest Richard Luonde has dragged his church to court demanding that it gives him back his portfolio and pays him what is due to him.

He said he was called by God and wanted to die as a priest.

Father Lounde, a former St Peter’s Anglican Church priest-in-charge in Kitwe asked the Ndola Industrial Relations Court (IRC) to order the church to give him back his portfolio and pay him to his satisfaction.

“I was called as a priest and I want to die a priest. I want the church to give me back my portfolio and pay what is due to my satisfaction and what else the court will deem fit,” he said.

Fr Lounde said this during his testimony in a case in which he has sued the Anglican Church and the Northern Archbishop Albert Chama for damages and unlawful dismissal of employment.

He told the ICR chaired by Jones Chinyama yesterday that his dismissal was dubiously done alleging it did not conform to the church rules as no reasons were given.

Fr Luonde said his contract as a priest was terminated in August last year and that the conditions of service for his pension did not attest to the Zambian labour laws.

He said he had suffered economic hardships from the time his contract was terminated and rated himself as ‘a victim of circumstances’.

Fr Luonde said he was transferred to Mwinilunga in North-Western Province by Bishop Chama after his parishioners locked up the church and raised grievances against him.

“I do not know what was happening. I found the church locked up with graffiti stuck around the building. Father Chama later gave me a transfer letter to Mwinulunga saying I should not repeat what I did.

“I did not understand him because I did not know what was happening. I refused to go to Mwinilunga because I did not have anything to answer to the people that side if they asked me why I went there,” Fr Luonde said.

The case has been adjourned to September 8 this year for continued hearing.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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