Some sympathisers yesterday shielded the 62-year-old man of Kalingalinga Township who allegedly assaulted an Anglican Priest whilst he was preaching at the pulpit from cameras.

In order to prevent reporters from filming or photographing him, the said supporters covered the accused person, Renard Mwale, in jerseys and wrappers while leading him away from the court premises.

One of the women was heard shouting “fire, blood of Jesus”, as journalists attempted to take pictures of the accused person, while others accused reporters of reporting lies about the matter.

This was after the accused person appeared before magistrate Judy Chiyaika yesterday.

The matter comes up today for plea.

In this matter, Mwale, a machine operator, is facing one count of assault occasioning actually bodily harm.

Particulars of the offence allege that on November 22, this year, in Lusaka Mwale assaulted Borniface Baleni thereby occasioning him actual bodily harm.

Police in Lusaka arrested Mwale after he surrendered himself to Kalingalinga police.

The police had initially launched a manhunt for him before he surrendered himself the following day.

According to a statement issued by Police spokesperson Esther Katongo, Mwale allegedly beat up the priest as he was delivering a sermon on that day.

She stated that initial Investigations had revealed that the accused person was among a group of church members who were fighting the Priest over the church car park space.

Katongo added that it was further alleged that the Priest had been calling for church elections, a move which had angered some church members.

“Police in Lusaka are looking for a male adult only identified as Mwale of Kalingalinga Anglican church alleged to have assaulted an Anglican Church Priest whose names we have withheld. This occurred today (Sunday), November 22, 2020 at 10:30 hours in Lusaka’s Kalingalinga compound whilst the Priest was preaching at the pulpit. It is alleged that the accused person went to the pulpit where the priest was and ordered him to stop preaching , and when the Priest resisted, he begun dragging him and also punched him on the face with fists and he sustained swollen lips,” Katongo stated.

“Initial Investigations have revealed that the accused person is among a group of church members fighting the Priest over the church car park space. It is further alleged that the Priest has been calling for church elections and this has angered some church members.”