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Fri Oct 24 10:33:55 SAST 2014

Zambia revokes decision to expel Catholic priest

Sapa-AFP | 13 November, 2012 10:48
A Catholic priest bows towards a crucifix. File photo.
Image by: DAVID GRAY / REUTERS

Zambia will now allow the return of a Catholic Rwandan cleric deported in August for allegedly inciting violence after a sermon on poverty, the Home Affairs minister said on Tuesday.

Father Viateur Banyangandora was in August sent packing after preaching that the poor were getting poorer while the rich becoming richer in Zambia, a sermon that did not go down well with the authorities.

But on Tuesday, Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu said he had changed his mind after talks with the Catholic church.

"I have revoked the deportation of Father Banyangandora after consultations with the church.

"He is free to come to Zambia if the church needs his services," Lungu said.

Opposition leaders had condemned the deportation warning it would strain the relationship between the government and the Catholic church.

Banyangandora, 40, had been based at Lundazi, an eastern town near the border with Malawi, since 2006.

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