Fr. Bwalya takes on Sata for attacking HH

President Michael Sata’s reaction to UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s call to boycott independence celebrations exposes him (Mr Sata) as an inconsistent leader with a very short memory, opposition Alliance for Better Zambia leader Frank Bwalya has charged.
Fr. Bwalya said Zambians have fresh memories of how Mr Sata behaved in exactly the same manner not long ago. He said one wonders why President Sata has castigated Mr Hichilema instead of commending him for “emulating” him.
“We challenge Mr Sata to explain to the nation why it was right for him to shun State functions such as independence celebrations and why it is wrong for Mr Hichilema to do the same,” Fr. Bwalya charged. “As ABZ we think that Mr Sata was wrong to shun independence celebrations and other state functions.
This is because such functions are above narrow partisan interests. They are national events that should foster love, unity and patriotism. Above all, such national events should be occasions to thank God for the gifts of peace and stability that our country has been enjoying.”
Fr. Bwalya said ABZ strongly believe that celebrating independence is also a powerful way of honouring the gallant men, women and youth who sacrificed a lot in fighting for our independence. He observed that many of the Freedom Fighters were killed and ABZ thinks that independence celebration should be a moment to remember and pray for them.
“It is also an opportunity to rekindle the spirit of freedom fighters as we drive our country to the Promised Land,” he said. “The fact that our people still wallow in abject poverty and suffer from the burden of disease, corruption and illiteracy should not make us forget to be grateful for the gift of self-determination that was won through the struggle for independence.”
Fr. Bwalya said ABZ acknowledges the challenge to accelerate meaningful development and lift people out of poverty.
“We condemn corruption and mediocre leadership that have contributed to lack of social and economic progress in our country,” said Fr. Bwalya.
He added: “Against this background, we wish to state that ABZ will attend state functions including celebrating our independence. This doesn’t mean that we think everything is well in Zambia and that the status quo should continue. When we form government in 2016 we shall create an environment to encourage all political parties to come together during occasions such as independence celebrations in the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation.”  
Fr. Bwalya said as Zambia begins preparations for the Golden Jubilee Independence celebrations ABZ was calling upon Veteran Politicians to emulate Mr Vernon Mwaanga and others by retiring from active politics.
He said It is time for old politicians who have done their part since independence to assume the role of advisers and mentors for upcoming politicians.
“Against this background, we urge Mr Michael Sata not to go for a second term but allow younger people in PF to take over the mantle of leadership,” said Fr. Bwalya who in 2011 heavily campaigned for Mr. Sata.