Fr Bwalya decides to engage lawyer

Fr Frank Bwalya in Police cell at Kasama Police
Fr Frank Bwalya in Police cell at Kasama Police

ALLIANCE for Better Zambia (ABZ) leader Frank Bwalya has changed his earlier decision to defend himself against a charge of defaming the President and instead applied for leave to engage legal representation.
Bwalya, who has been representing himself from the time he was put on trial, said yesterday that he thought it prudent to engage SBN Chambers to represent him.
Particulars of the case are that Bwalya allegedly made derogatory statements on a live radio show against Republican President Michael Sata.
Presiding magistrate Vincent Siloka allowed the application and set May 6 as the new date on which the opposition leader would begin his defence.
Bwalya, 45, a Catholic priest-turned politician of house number 5607 Mwase Close Riverside in Kitwe also complained of verbal harassment from Patriotic Front cadres at the court buildings.
Mr Siloka warned the PF members from turning court premises into rally-like arena.
“Insults and demeaning statements must not be used at the court premises. It is not members of the public to try the accused and he should be treated as innocent untill proven guilty.
“Do not tempt the court to punish you. The court cannot be swayed by political inclinations,” Mr Siloka said.
In an interview after coming out of court, Bwalya said he has assembled 170 witnesses.
“Though there might be more witnesses than 170, I have lined up,” he added.