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Chumbu Mushololwa Goes Viral

chumbuThe story of the arrest of Father Frank Bwalya for calling President Michael Sata a potato has gone viral on a number of news websites including the Independent of UK, Yahoo, Metro UK, Yahoo, BBC and Al-Jazeera.

Several other websites in South Africa and the United States of America including the traditional Zambian websites have carried the article. The internet was also agog with various images of sweet

Below is the story by Al-Jazeera on Chumbu Mushololwa

Zambian police have arrested and charged an opposition leader with defamation, after he compared the president to a potato.

Frank Bwalya, head of the Alliance for a Better Zambia, allegedly referred to president Michael Sata as “Chumbu Mushololwa” during a live radio broadcast on Monday.

The Bemba term refers to a sweet potato that breaks when it is bent and is used to describe someone who does not heed advice.

“The police decided to arrest and charge him with defamation of the president,” Eric Chanda, the secretary general of Alliance told AFP news agency.

If convicted, Bwalya faces a maximum jail term of five years.

Bwalya, a former Catholic priest and supporter of Sata when in opposition, is just the latest opposition leader to run afoul of Zambia’s leader.

In September, Nevers Sekwila Mumba of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy was questioned by police after calling Sata a liar.

“President Sata is the same old man who was on all radio stations defaming former presidents Banda and Mwanawasa and nobody arrested him,” said Chanda.

Bwalya has pleaded not guilty to the defamtion charges and has been released on bail. He is to return to court on January 21.

Bwalya denied insulting the president and said his comments were taken out of context and exergarated.

“On that radio program, I strongly criticized the bad leadership of the president. I called him a crooked sweet potato that cannot be straightened. It is a commonly used phrase which is not insulting. It is to explain the attitude of a person who doesn’t want to be advised who doesn’t want to be counseled,” Bwalya told VOA.

4 Comments

  1. Chivunda Samusungwa

    Michael Sata’s foolishness is now known worldwide.His dictatorship won’t last.Thanks to international news organizations for picking up the ”Chumbu” news item; Sata thought that he can humiliate and victimize opposition leaders and other citizens without the international community knowing about it.

  2. sunkutu kadansa Hich

    Can anyone go to Mongu and say on Mongu FM radio that the Litunga is chumbu mushololwa and expect that Lozi’s will accept it as freedom of speech? I don’t think so. When tradition/culture/Morals and the law are in conflict the Law wins.

  3. Arrested for Calling Zambia’s President Michael Sata a ‘Sweet Potato’ · Global Voices

    [...] News website Zambia Reports reported about the potato going viral around the world: [...]

  4. Arrested for Calling Zambia’s President Michael Sata a ‘Sweet Potato’ | Freedom, Justice, Equality News

    [...] News website Zambia Reports reported about the potato going viral around the world: [...]

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