Zambian Watchdog

Why is M’membe defending himself on Frank Bwalya?

May 06
09:30 2013

Cracks are emerging between State House and their propagandists, The Post Newspaper, following the decision by Fr. Frank Bwalya to leave the fold of the ruling party and join politics, according to Zambia Reports.

Fr. Bwalya last week announced he was joining the political arena following injustices being perpetrated by the ruling Patriotic Front whom he heavily supported in the 2011 general elections.

But State House has picked information that among Fr. Bwalya’s backers is Post newspaper owner Fred M’membe.

“M’membe is growing increasingly frustrated by the fact that he no longer has a grip on President Michael Sata and that his preferred successor to Sata, Wynter Kabimba, is not popular within the PF ranks and is not selling nationally,” the sources said.

“So he is looking for someone who can dismantle Sata and someone he can eventually control that is why The Post has not come out strongly against Fr. Bwalya.”

PF sources said M’membe is aware State House has picked information about his links with Fr. Bwalya and is desperate to launder himself though at the same time not antagonizing Fr. Bwalya.

Strangely, The Post on Sunday published an editorial entitled entitled “Fr Bwalya and Us” in which the paper is unsolicitedly trying to exculpate itself.

The newspaper usually bases its editorial or opinions on stories it has carried or has previously published. But in this case, there is no story where The Post has carried a story talking about their perceived links with Fr. Bwalya.

“We will never deny the fact that Father Frank Bwalya has been a friend of ours and we have done many things together. But this does not mean that we are part of everything Fr Bwalya does or says,” reads part of the editorial.

“Fr Bwalya has rights that are well protected by the Constitution of our country. He has the right to hold a political opinion and freely express it; equally he has the right of association. Fr Bwalya has the right to form his own political party if he so wishes. But Fr Bwalyas right to be heard does not automatically mean the right to be taken seriously.

“We have never known of Fr Bwalyas intentions to join politics and start a political party. He has never shared with us his intentions on this scope. We are hearing them for the first time from the pronouncements he is making on radio. So how can we be financers of political programmes and schemes we do not know.”

Analysts are wondering the basis of this editorial as though anyone has publicly accused The Post of sponsoring Fr Bwalya.

“The Post are panicking,” the source told Zambia Reports.

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