Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya has accused management at Radio Icengelo of trying to force him to resign from priesthood before they can start covering him.
FR Bwalya has said that for some time now the radio station has been denying him and his political party an opportunity to feature on its programmes because it wanted him to first resign from priesthood.
Radio Icengelo Station Manager Nicholas Mubanga declined to comment on the matter claiming that Fr Bwalya was his brother in the priesthood.
Fr Bwalya, who is former Radio Icengelo station manager, said it had become apparent that management and the board of directors of Radio Icengelo wanted him to resign from priesthood before the station could start covering him and ABZ.
He, however, said such demands were illegal because the cannon law which governed the Catholic Church did not give such conditions that one should resign from priesthood for him to start criticising government.
“Although, they have not made it clear, they are demanding that I resign from priesthood before they can start covering ABZ. This is illegal. The canon law which governs the Catholic Church does not give such conditions that one should resign from priesthood for him to start criticising government.
“Because this is illegal, we are seeking to redress this problem through an amicable way. The station manager told me that the decision to block ABZ from being featured on Radio Icengelo is arbitrary and is not backed by the Radio Icengelo programming policy which I formed when I was station manager,” Fr Bwalya said.
The ABZ president suspected that the decision to deny him and his party a chance to feature on the Icengelo Radio was because he was a hard critic of the PF government.
He said from the time he formed ABZ, management and board of Radio Icengelo vowed never to feature him because he was coming out strong against the PF government.
“When I went on leave of absence and formed Change Life Zambia, then later Get Involved Zambia, I used the same Radio Station to campaign for the PF, the management and board of Radio Icengelo did not see anything wrong with that, but now, that I am coming out so strong against the PF, they are seeing something wrong.
“They have stopped me from using Radio Icengelo to criticize the PF because some of the members of the management and board of the Radio Station were sympathisers of the PF government,” Fr Bwalya said.
When asked why he was the only one not being featured on Radio Icengelo, when opposition leaders like UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and MMD President Nevers Mumba were being allowed, Fr Bwalya said the decision to bar him was driven out of malice and hatred.
“My brother, there are a lot of issues why some people at Radio Icengelo do not want me or my party to feature. This is because of hatred and malice. But, the major one is their desire for me to resign from priesthood before they can start covering me and ABZ,