Former Zambian president Edgar Lungu has announced that he is returning to active politics as the leader of the Patriotic Front (PF) party, according to Lusaka Times. However, before he can officially lead the party, he needs to win the endorsement of its members.
Lungu previously lost the presidential election to Hakainde Hichilema, who received 59.2% of the vote in 2021. Following his defeat, Lungu resigned as the leader of the Patriotic Front. Now, Lungu faces opposition from Miles Sampa, a former leader of the Patriotic Front, who is considered a strong candidate for the party’s presidency, News24 reported.
Recently, Lungu and his supporters were denied access to the PF offices in Lusaka when the police were called by Sampa’s supporters. This incident reflects the ongoing tensions within the party as different factions vie for leadership positions. The outcome of the internal party process will determine whether Lungu can successfully regain his position as the leader of the Patriotic Front and play an active role in Zambian politics once again.
Speaking on Saturday during the 9th Memorial Anniversary of Zambia’s late President Michael Chilufya Sata, he said:
I am ready to fight from the front, not from the rear, in defence of democracy. Those who are ready for this fight, please come along with me; I am ready for anything.
Lungu previously served as president after winning a by-election in 2015 following the death of President Michael Sata. However, in the 2021 elections, Lungu was defeated by Hakainde Hichilema. Hichilema’s victory was seen as a sign of the growing popularity of the opposition and the institutionalisation of democratic processes in Zambia.
Lungu’s return to politics has been met with some controversy, including accusations by the police that his jogging activities were political rallies. Lungu’s comeback would mean losing his government pension and benefits. The Zambian government has stated that Lungu is welcome to return to the political arena if he wishes to do so.