7 January 2014

Zambia: Frank Bwalya Arrested

Photo: Frank Bwalya/Facebook
Frank Bwalya.

Ndola — ALLIANCE for Better Zambia (ABZ) leader Frank Bwalya has been arrested in Kasama for allegedly defaming Republican President Michael Sata.

Police in the Northern Province headquarters yesterday had a tough time in shielding the outspoken Father Bwalya from some irate Patriotic Front (PF) members who wanted to lynch him for allegedly using disparaging remarks against the President.

The Catholic priest-turned-politician allegedly made the defamatory remarks during a live programme on Radio Mano which attracted the anger of the PF members who stormed the station ready to pounce on him.

Fr Bwalya was only saved by paramilitary police officers who quickly surrounded the radio station with some of the officers jumping over the perimeter fence.

The PF members who had entered the studio demanded that Radio Mano staff release the former cleric who was inside the station.

Police cordoned off the station and escorted Fr Bwalya, who was found seated in the studio talking on his mobile phone, to a waiting police car.

The ABZ president walked from the radio station to angry chants of PF members who asked why he had travelled to the district to attack the President instead of telling Kasama residents what his party had to offer.

Northern Province Police Chief Mary Chikwanda confirmed the arrest and said the opposition leader would appear in court soon.

Fr Bwalya was detained at Kasama Central Police Station after being interrogated for close to three hours.

During the radio programme, which was cut short by the confusion, Fr Bwalya said the Government had no jurisdiction over the Bemba Traditional Council, and made parable-like statements in Bemba disparaging Mr Sata's style of leadership.

Some MMD provincial leaders rushed to the police station while police were recording a warn-and-caution statement in a show of solidarity.

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