News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Leader Skeptical about President’s Health

Zambia President Michael Sata delivers a speech on May 17, 2013 during the commissioning of the construction of Palabana University in Chongwe, 60 kms east of Lusaka.
Zambia President Michael Sata delivers a speech on May 17, 2013 during the commissioning of the construction of Palabana University in Chongwe, 60 kms east of Lusaka.
Peter Clottey

Zambia’s government on Monday released photographs showing President Michael Sata chairing a cabinet meeting following opposition criticisms that the administration has been hiding the leader’s deteriorating health.

Opposition leader Father Frank Bwalya, a former Catholic priest says the government must tell Zambians the truth about the president’s health following his recent “working trip” to Israel where he is alleged to have sought medical attention for an undisclosed ailment. 

Opponents say Sata’s last few public appearances have shown him frail and tired and that he has a history of seeking medical treatment abroad.

“Even a child in the streets does not understand why we have not seen the president in person,” said Bwalya. “And the pictures that they have used they are still pictures. We are not saying the president is sick and dying, all we are saying is that these things do not make sense… now there are rumors that he has even died. The onus is on him to come up in public and say he is well and if he is not well, the people will understand.”

Supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party condemned the opposition criticism saying it is unacceptable for opponents of the president to play politics with his health.

In an interview with VOA, Information Minister Mwansa Kapeya maintained that Sata is fit and chaired a cabinet meeting shortly before making his recent trip to Israel.

“He is on a working holiday in Israel. If he were sick, he wouldn’t have travelled,” said Kapeya. “In fact just last week Monday he chaired the usual cabinet meeting and before he left I was with him talking to him and we were always talking about developmental issues in the country.”

But opposition leader Bwalya said the refusal of the administration to disclose the president’s health status is a demonstration of poor leadership.

“It’s a blessing in disguise that this has come…so that Zambians can realize that the people that have been governing us from before independence they don’t fit in the current dispensation. And this should be the last time Zambians vote for these kinds of people,” said Bwalya.

PF supporters condemned the opposition for what they say is wishing the president ill will. They said Sata is the president and father of the nation and needs to be treated with respect and decorum as he leads the country.

Bwalya denied opponents of the government wish the president ill will.

“No one in the world died because somebody wished them dead. People die because the time has come for them to die…people die because God says you shall die,” said Bwalya. “Why should they worry when the president is doing the right thing? This people have failed to govern, and they know in this part of the world if you wish another person dead that amounts to witchcraft and people look down on such a person.”

Clottey interview with Father Frank Bwalya, Zambia opposition leader
Clottey interview with Father Frank Bwalya, Zambia opposition leaderi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

 

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gilbert bushama c. from: south Africa
July 22, 2014 8:11 AM
Father bwalya never deserved to be prist thats he abandoned it, have respect to the father of nation.

by: pitia Solomon from: South Sudan
July 16, 2014 12:54 AM
Bwalya, you need to behave like a former priest and have respect to people like Michael Sata who are founding fathers of your nation

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

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