OUTSPOKEN Catholic priest Fr Umberto Davoli has died in Italy after an illness.
Fr Davoli would be remembered for being a fierce critique of the Kenneth Kaunda and Frederick Chiluba regimes and defending the interests of the poor through his social justice programmes when he was editor of the Icengelo Magazine of the Catholic Church.
"He died yesterday in Italy at the age of 77. He came in Zambia in 1966 and worked in various parts of the country doing pastoral work. He knew this country well. He knew the people, their needs and their interests. And that's why he will be remembered as a defender of social justice. Fr Umberto's work among the Franciscan family, the friars and the nation speaks volume about his legacy. He did so much for this country," Fr Andrew Mukosa, who is spiritual director of the Franciscan Friars in Kitwe's Itimpi, said yesterday. "He dedicated his life to serving the poor. He spoke out on injustice without fear. Remember he was at some point almost deported in the first Republic. Fr Umberto stood for the truth, he never compromised on the truth and he spoke his mind. Apart from that, he was a very spiritual man."