Zambian acquitted for calling Sata 'a potato'

2014-07-15 14:51
Zambian President Michael Sata. (AFP)

Zambian President Michael Sata. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lusaka - A Zambian opposition leader charged with defamation after comparing the president to a sweet potato was acquitted on Tuesday after a court found he was merely exercising his right to free speech.

Frank Bwalya, head of the Alliance for a Better Zambia, in January referred to President Michael Sata as "chumbu mushololwa" during a live radio broadcast.

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.

Triumph of democracy

"I am happy that I have been acquitted. This is not victory for me but it's a triumph for democracy, good governance and the rule of law," Bwalya told AFP.

"The court made it clear that in this country we have the right to freedom of expression and as an opposition leader I have the right to criticise where things are not going right,"Bwalya said.

The outspoken former Catholic cleric was speaking from Kasama, about 850km north of the capital Lusaka, where the case was heard by magistrate Vincent Siloka.

Several opposition politicians and journalists have recently fallen foul of the Zambian authorities for criticising Sata - nicknamed "King Cobra" - and his government.
Read more on:    michael sata  |  zambia  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.