Human Rights Commission Chair Chibesakunda Meets Milingo Campaigners

The Post (Zambia), August 19, 2002
Webster Malido And Ernest Mwape

The Milingo saga should not be allowed to degenerate into a religious doctrinal war, Human Rights Commission (HRC) chairperson judge Lombe Chibesakunda has advised.

Judge Chibesakunda said Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo’s issue was more of a human rights one than one bordering on religious doctrine. “We are talking about the fundamental rights of a human being who is at the centre of this debate and people are concerned,” judge Chibesakunda said.

“In view of the seriousness of the matter, it should not be allowed to degenerate into a religious doctrinal war.”

She said the HRC had already held its first fact-finding meeting on the controversy surrounding the whereabouts and well being of Archbishop Milingo who is currently reported to be on retreat at an unknown place. Judge Chibesakunda said last Friday’s meeting was attended by some members of Archbishop Milingo’s family, his former wife Maria Sung, his sympathisers and the Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo Human Rights Campaign Committee (AMHRCC) which presented a petition to the HRC.

“The Commission intends in the coming week to hold a meeting with the Catholic Church to receive their views on the matter,” judge Chibesakunda said.

“This will be followed by a meeting of all parties concerned in this matter.” She said the AMHRCC in its petition to the HRC demanded, among other things, for an independent body to be sent to the Vatican to physically see Archbishop Milingo and verify his well being.

Judge Chibesakunda said the petitioners also want Archbishop Milingo to address an international press conference to be attended by medical doctors an his family members.

Meanwhile, Catholic Church’s Maria Ipusukilo Lyabalanda Small Christian Community chairperson in Mpika Urban Musonda has castigated pastors who have formed the Rescue Archbishop Milingo Group and accused them of meddling in its internal affairs. Musonda has also advised Maria Sung to stop dragging the Zambian government into Archbishop Milingo’s decision to leave her because it did not play any role in the short lived marriage.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday August 21, 2002.
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