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 As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.