News / Africa

Zambia Priest to Launch Political Party

Roman Catholic priest Frank Bwalya (in red) and supporters hold red cards to display their displeasure with the government as they attend a rally in front of the National Assembly, in Lusaka, Zambia, March 22, 2011.
Roman Catholic priest Frank Bwalya (in red) and supporters hold red cards to display their displeasure with the government as they attend a rally in front of the National Assembly, in Lusaka, Zambia, March 22, 2011.
Peter Clottey
A Roman Catholic priest says his newly registered opposition party, the Alliance for Better Zambia, will be launched this month, as part of an effort to defeat President Michael Sata’s ruling Patriotic Front in the next general election.

“We have a bright future. The prospects for success of this political party are very high,” said Father Frank Bwalya, leader of the Alliance for Better Zambia party.

“We are carrying the right message for the majority of the people who voted for the Patriotic Front on the understanding that they were going to improve governance record that they were going to respect human rights, improve the economy and create employment, all these things have not happened.”

Bwalya says his new party seeks to democratically change Zambia’s political landscape, which he said has been weakened by what he calls the ruling party's confrontational governance style.

“This is why we don’t want to waste time we want to make sure that we educate the people, [and] enlighten them about the ineffectiveness of this government, and that come 2016 we can have real change,” said Bwalya.

The Alliance for Better Zambia was officially registered last week by the Registrar of Societies, a designated government agency in charge of approving political parties.

Father Bwalya becomes the first Catholic priest to lead a political group in Zambia’s history.  Bwalya says the party will work with all Zambians irrespective of their ideological or ethnic persuasions.

“Zambians should expect the best of a new political dispensation.  They should expect the emergence of new leaders of high integrity who do not put self-interest before public interest,” continued Bwalya, “Zambians should for once expect a president that is going to discipline erring [or] corrupt ministers.”

He has often accused senior officials of the administration of using state institutions to prevent the official registration of the Alliance for Better Zambia party.  The government denied the accusations.

Political observers credit Bwalya for playing a prominent role in the Patriotic Front victory over the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in the 2011 general election.  Some MMD supporters say Bwalya now regrets supporting the PF during the vote.  Bwalya disagreed.

“I have never said I regret because although the man [Sata] turned out to be a letdown, we think that he played one important role, that of removing the MMD who started violating our rights and were just bent on destroying the country.  We were in that kind of a desperate situation,” said Bwalya.

Critics say Father Bwalya does not have the required experience to be the country’s next leader.  They said the opposition priest is single, unmarried and without children, which they argue makes him unqualified to run the affairs of the Southern African country.  They also said Bwalya lives in a plush house, despite not being employed after stepping down from the day- to-day activities of a Catholic priest.

Bwalya says the accusations are unfounded.

“I don’t believe that to make a good president to be a good man or woman, you need to have a family,” continued Bwalya, “there is a background to why I don’t have a wife and children.  It’s because I have been a priest and I’m still a priest.  So you can see that these people have nothing [tangible] to use against me and that is why they are resorting to this cheap accusations.”
Clottey interview with Father Frank Bwalya
Clottey interview with Father Frank Bwalyai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid