Fr Bwalya arrested, detained

Police in Kasama yesterday arrested and detained Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya for allegedly defaming President Michael Sata and proposing violence after he had featured on Radio Mano.

But Fr Bwalya has described his arrest and dentetion as nothing but harassment and persecution of the worst kind by a regime he described as desperate and eager to silence the voices of the opposition political parties.

Fr Bwalya told the Daily Nation from Kasama that police in riot gear stormed Radio Mano soon after the programme on which he had featured was concluded and forced him to Kasama police where they eventually charged him with defamation of the President and proposing violence.

Fr Bwalya said while on a live radio programme, he used a Bemba idiom that implied that President Sata was a man who could not be corrected and advised.

He said the police also charged him with proposing violence when he said President Sata was encouraging violence by allegedly allowing cadres to harass citizens with divergent views.

The Catholic Priest cum politician has since his joining politics been a victim of police harassment and he said his arrest yesterday did not surprise him because he knew the kind of regime he was dealing with.

He said the police were frantically working to change the second charge because they were not sure what offence he had committed adding that he was aware that instructions were coming from somewhere above to have him arrested by all costs.

He said the police were struggling to manufacture a new charge after all the formalities had been done with the second charge adding it was not doubtful that the police were failing to operate professionally because of instructions they were receiving.

Fr Bwalya said his arrest was about hatred, persecution and malice and warned that President Sata would become more brutal towards the end of his first term because he had realised that governing the country with civility would not help him.

“I have been charged with two offences and I am sure I will be locked up. The first charge is that of defamation of the President. I referred to him as Chumbu munshololwa and the second charge is proposing violence. I said President Sata is fond of pouring Chibuku on people. But they are trying to change the second charge and are now hunting for a new offence. This is harassment of the worst kind. It is persecution, harassment, malice and hatred,” Fr Bwalya said.

Fr Bwalya said he was going to jail on behalf of Zambians and that his arrest was nothing but baptism in real political life.

He said the President Sata and the PF would never crush him because he stood for the truth.

He said it was good that the police picked him from Radio Mano studios because some PF cadres had surrounded the premises calling for his blood.

Fr said the cadres were chanting that they wanted to kill him before 20 16.