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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs