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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid