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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid