Five of the priests are Lusaka based while the other one is based in Choma.
The Lusaka-based priest yesterday stormed Daily Mail offices to narrate their ordeal and vowed not to bow down.
Speaking on behalf of other priests, Clement Mackenzi of St Peters Anglican Parish in Libala said Bishop Njovu wanted to replace the conditions of service which were enacted in 2001.
“When we received copies of new conditions of service, we read through them with a lot of care and we observed that they were not in good taste because they were not improving at all…In short, they were bad conditions of service,” Father Mackenzie said.
He said as senior and responsible clergy in the diocese, they refused to endorse the conditions of service and instead wrote Bishop Njovu seeking clarifications on pertinent issues.
Fr Makenzi said in response, Bishop Njovu told them the conditions of service had been attested by the Labour Commissioner and that he was not prepared to change them.
He ordered the priests to accept them.
“We saw that the conditions were going to disadvantage us in the near future. They were taking away our terminal benefits and also our rights there were violated,” Fr Mackenzie said.
Fr Makenzi said the priests asked the Labour Commissioner to task the labour office to arbitrate on the matter.
He said then the Labour Commissioner through the inspectors who attested the new conditions of services retracted the signature to the new conditions of service and instructed the Diocese of Lusaka to redo the conditions of service.
“We were waiting for revised conditions of service as per instruction of the Labour Commissioner, but what we have received today [Friday] are letters terminating our employment.
“We have been hit hard and we thought we should inform the wider Anglican community about what is happening in the Anglican Diocese of Lusaka,” Fr MacKenzie said.
Bishop Njovu could not be reached for a comment as his mobile phone was not reachable while his land line went unanswered.
Zambia Daily Mail