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

Photogallery US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid