A CATHOLIC priest in Ndola was yesterday fined K10 million by a local court for having an affair with a married woman whom he was offering marriage counselling.
Pamodzi Parish priest Father Davies Nsama of 42 Fitente Road in Northrise appeared before Chifubu local court magistrates Amos Banda, Aaron Sugar Banda and Rosemary Muke for bringing disputes in a marriage.
Charles Moto, 32, of 3597 Kansenshi Extension, an employee of PG Bisonite sued Father Nsama for causing disputes in his marriage of five years to 27-year-old Virginia Mpanza Moto, an employee of Mission Press at the Franciscan centre in Ndola.
Father Nsama admitted to the offence and applied that the matter be heard in chambers but the court refused.
Father Nsama told the court that he knew Virginia in 2002 and went for rides in his car with her to discuss church matters.
He admitted that one day he and Virginia drove to Luanshya where he kissed her.
But Father Nsama denied ever sleeping with Virginia and said he deeply regretted the affair.
Virginia said she too regretted the affair but pointed out that affairs were not always sexual. She said she had suffered a lot from the ordeal.
Justice Banda said from the priest’s own confession, the court found him guilty and fined him K10 million, noting that it was unfortunate that a Catholic priest could get into an affair with a married woman.
In his testimony, Mr Moto said in a fully-packed court that he got married to Virginia
in July, 2004 and the two have two children.
He said at the end of 2007, he was transferred to Ndola but was transferred back to Lusaka in November last year. It was agreed that he would be travelling to Ndola every Friday and go back to Lusaka on Mondays.
Mr Moto said he decided late last year to have a wedding at Pamodzi Catholic Parish that was set for May 9 this year. It was at this point that the couple went to Father Nsama for counselling.
Mr Moto said he, however, received an anonymous call from a private number on Tuesday March, 31 after 20:30 hours and the caller wanted to find out where his wife was.
He said he called his wife but she told him that she was at the bus stop and later switched off her phone.
He called his wife the next day, but she gave conflicting versions of where she was prompting him to get a court order from the Lusaka local court to get the activity phone record from MTN.
The phone record of the previous one month showed that his wife and Father Nsama exchanged a lot of calls and text messages between 19:00 hours and 23:30 hours.
Mr Moto said he travelled from Lusaka and asked Father Nsama to meet him somewhere so they could have a ‘gentleman’s’ talk.
During the meeting, Father Nsama said he and Mrs Moto were merely going for car rides and that on that evening they went as far as Luanshya.
He said he grabbed Nsama’ phone where he found a text message from his wife telling the priest to say that the two merely went for car rides.
Mr Moto said that day he had never slept, got traumatised and even contemplated suicide.
He then arranged a meeting with Ndola Diocese Bishop, Noel Oregan, who he said was cooperative and asked him to forgive his wife and sue Father Nsama.
Mr Moto said Bishop Oregan even offered Father Nsama a house in Lusaka so that he could relocate, an offer he turned down and the bishop further asked the priest to go for an HIV test.
Mr Moto simultaneously sued his wife for divorce which the court granted without compensation and urged the two parties to take good care of the children.
[Times of Zambia]