HH hails Fr Bwalya’s acquital

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema says the acquittal of his Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) counterpart Frank Bwalya by the Kasama Magistrate court is an achievement in the fight for enhanced freedom of expression.

Mr Hichilema said the Kasama Magistrate court had acted in line with the provisions of the constitution which promote freedom of speech.

He said the courts of law had correctly interpreted the constitution and acted in favour of human rights.

Mr Hichilema said Zambia was a democratic nation where people should be allowed to give their opinions without fear or intimidation from anyone.

Father Bwalya was acquitted of charges of defaming President Michael Sata in a case in which he had likened the Head of State to a sweet potato, when he featured on a paid programme at Radio Mano.

Earlier this year, Fr Bwalya was arrested after he used a Bemba idiom; ‘chumbu munshololwa’ in reference to President Sata’s uncompromising stance on national issues.

Kasama Magistrate Vincent Siloka said he had listened more than ten times to the recording in which it was alleged that the ABZ leader had insulted President Sata but did not hear any part where the opposition leader had insulted the Head of State.