LIVINGSTONE Catholic diocesan secretary Paul Mubiana has testified in the Livingstone magistrate’s court that the written threats to murder 76-year-old Bishop Raymond Mpesele were issued by people who are close to the prelate.
This is in a case in which David Chiyaba, 26, Grace Maseka Mwangala, 52 (Bishop Mpesele’s cook), and Bertha Lungu, 20, are charged with demanding property by issuing written threats to murder a person.
Testifying before magistrate Benjamin Mwelwa last week, Father Mubiana, 31, said he was concerned about the threats to murder the bishop.
Fr Mubiana, who lives in the bishop’s house in Libuyu township, said the threats were being issued by people close to the clergyman who were demanding K20,000 from him.
“I was summoned by police officers to help with investigations. I was then ordered to leave the vehicle and accompany them to the police station.
“We then went on a long drive with the police officer who questioned me on the relationship the bishop has with his priests,” Fr Mubiana said.
He said Bishop Mpesele’s relationship with his priests was cordial, but suggested to the police that everyone who lived with the senior clergyman should be questioned to bring out the truth.
He said one morning, he was approached by Maseka’s daughter (Bertha Lungu) who told him that her mother wanted to kill herself because the police had interviewed her over written threats to murder the bishop.
“Bertha came rushing to me that her mother [Maseka] wanted to take her own life. I then took the bottle of poison that was given to me by Bertha and later handed it over to the police,” Fr Mubiana said.
The trial continues.