The Association of the Zambian Diocesan Catholic Clergy was founded and co- founded by late Frs. Mushota Barnabas and Medardo Joseph Mazombwe in August 1969. The then Fr. Mazombwe was a student at the University of Zambia. Fr. Mushota was the Rector for Lubushi Minor Seminary in Kasama Archdiocese though he used to belong to the diocese of Mansa. 

As a student at Kachebere Major Seminary in Malawi, Fr. Mushota first founded the Association for “African’s Way of Life”. The objective of the latter was to ensure that African Students were proud of their identity and thereby exhibit African Cultural values in their entirety. The venue for the first National AZADCC meeting was held at Mpima Seminary in Kabwe.  Twenty-four Zambian Diocesan Priests from different Dioceses attended the first AZADCC conference. Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo gave the opening speech. Further talks were given by Frs. Albert Kachuka, Elias Mutale, Bernard Mushota, Medardo Mazombwe, Kapate Mumba and John Lupambo. At this conference, different topics were presented such as:

  1. the role of the local priests in the Zambian Society;
    1. the relationship between the Diocesan and the Religious;
    1. the just sustenance and support of the local clergy,
    1. the Organization and its structures.

At this conference, a representative from the Holy See was in attendance signifying the great importance the Holy Father attaches to this Association. The late Medardo Joseph Cardinal Mazombwe was elected the first Chairperson for the National AZADCC.


The Zambian Catholic Church was established by the Missionaries in different parts of the country. By 1969, the Zambian Church was still predominantly under the Missionaries. However, as the number of the local clergy steadily increased, the need for the clergy to have space and identity became a burning urge. Up to this time, the local priests had mostly been assigned to live with the Missionaries, even when their own identity as secular clergy was stressed by their own distinctive clerical dress as Diocesan priests. They worked and prayed together with the Missionary Priests and followed their way of life.

  • Founding Fathers’ Motivation to Establish the  National AZADCC

With the attainment of Zambia’s Independence in 1964 and drawing some inspiration from the Second Vatican Council, the Founding Fathers of AZADCC felt the need to assert themselves in order to become relevant to the prevailing situation both in and outside the Church. This changing situation prompted the Founding Fathers to start finding answers to the following:

  • How do the Diocesan Priests continue the work of evangelization begun by the Missionaries in Zambia?
    • How do we promote unity of the Diocesan Priests in Zambia?
    • How do we develop the local Church in all facets e.g. Inculturation and self- reliance so that the Zambian Church can become self – supporting as well as self – ministering?
    • What is the Spirituality of the Diocesan Priesthood?
    • How best can we collaborate with the Bishop’s Conference?
    • How can we support and enhance practical solidarity among members of AZADCC, holistically?
    • How can the Diocesan Associations work with local Ordinaries in managing the Dioceses?
    • How can we strengthen bonds between member Associations and their Bishops?
    • How can we strengthen the collaboration between member Associations and the laity?
    • How can we create good working relationship with the Government at all levels?
    • How can we inculcate a Missionary element of being a Priest, Prophet and King?
    • How can we promote local Vocations to priesthood and religious life?