About Hakainde’s Response to Edgar Lungu’s Potential 2026 Run

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By Sean Tembo – PeP President

1. In the current political circles, the elephant in the room is whether Former President Edgar Lungu will run for President again in 2026, or if he has completely retired from active politics. Personally l think it would be better for the nation if President Lungu did not run, and instead fully assumed the role of statesman. I say so on the basis of a number of factors, one of which, l must admit, is my own self-interest. The other being the fact that this nation is extremely short of statesmen at the moment. Other factors include the adversarial and vengeful nature of our politics, which l doubt that the Former President would have a stomach for.

2. Despite the many current deficiencies of President Hakainde Hichilema, one thing that you cannot take away from him is that he was a resilient and steadfast opposition leader who perfected the art of surviving a brutal regime. Now that the PF brutal regime has been replaced by the UPND brutal regime, the question that inevitably arises is whether Former President Edgar Lungu would have the same resilience and steadfastness which President Hakainde Hichilema exhibited while in opposition? I think not. You see, surviving a brutal regime, as an opposition leader, is an instinct that you acquire and perfect over a period of time, and that is born out of the trials and tribulations that you are subjected to. It is not something that most politicians readily possess. In the case of President Hakainde Hichilema, he acquired that survival skill first as a third-rate intern to Michael Sata while he fought the MMD regime, and subsequently by auditioning for the role between 2011 and 2014.

3. Truth be told, many of the current crop of leaders in PF including Former President Edgar Lungu himself, were never in the forefront when the Late Former President Michael Sata was battling the MMD regime. The few that were there have most probably forgotten their fighting skills due to the affluence and sleaze that they enjoyed in the 10 years that PF was in power. They have probably forgotten how vicious our politics can be, largely because for a good 10 years, it was them that were bestowing tribulations on others. And as the Chewa proverb goes; “mudya nyemba aibala, koma mudya makoko saibala”. Bottom line is that if indeed Former President Edgar Lungu intends to come back to active politics, then he should not underestimate what lies ahead of him in terms of trials and tribulations. He needs to be physically, emotionally and mentally ready.

4. That said, it is not in anyone’s place to stop Former President Edgar Lungu from coming back to active politics. Everyone has a right to advise him, but no one has a right to stop him. That is why l find it strange that President Hakainde Hichilema is unable to hide his disdain about a potential Lungu come-back. The President’s remarks a few days ago while in the Copperbelt, should be a source of worry to every well-meaning Zambian. Hakainde should understand that Zambia is a Constitutional Republic and not a monarchy with him as king. Therefore the rights of citizens are derived from the Constitution, and not given by Hakainde the king. It is not in the place of President Hakainde Hichilema to determine whether Former President Edgar Lungu comes back to active politics or not.

5. If Mr. Lungu intends to stand in 2026, then Mr. Hichilema should focus on demonstrating to the electorate why he is better than Mr. Lungu. The current status is that Mr. Lungu is a bonafide Zambian citizen whom, according to the Constitutional Court, is eligible to stand again as President of Zambia in 2026. If Former President Edgar Lungu wants to visit churches and mobilize support for his potential 2026 run, he is perfectly within his legal rights to do so. He does not need to get permission from President Hakainde Hichilema nor anyone else for that matter.

6. I must mention however that l am particularly worried with the extent to which President Hakainde Hichilema appears to be preoccupied with a potential Lungu come-back. It has become fashionable for President Hichilema to publicly denounce Former President Edgar Lungu’s potential come-back. But why am l worried? Well, l am worried because the President, like all of us, is only a human being and can only address one issue at a time. Right now, the country is going through an economic melt-down. The economy of the Copperbelt is literally on a standstill, largely because the President has not decided on the way forward regarding Mopani and KCM. The economy of Lusaka is literally dead because there is no money in circulation and the cost of living is unbearable. The economy of rural areas which depend on agriculture is half-dead because farming inputs were either delivered late, not delivered at all or delivered in extremely small quantities, in the past farming season.

7. Given the crisis in which our country and our economy is going through at the moment, we need the President to be giving us his “A” game. We need President Hakainde Hichilema to be giving his undivided attention to the problems that are bedeviling this nation at the moment. But the President cannot do that if he is preoccupied by Former President Edgar Lungu’s potential come-back on the ballot. When he visits the Copperbelt, instead of talking about bread and butter issues such as when he will re-open Mopani and KCM, he is busy talking about how he will deal with alebwelelapo.

8. Mr President sir, Zambia is a Constitutional Democracy and if the people of this great nation decide that they want to bring back Former President Edgar Lungu in 2026, then their will should be respected. It is neither in your place nor in my place to second-guess the wishes of the Zambian people. That is what democracy entails. The same democracy that elevated you from a long-time opposition leader to a Republican President. Let us learn to respect democracy. Both when it favors us and when it doesn’t.

29 COMMENTS

    • The UPND is dead scared of ECL’s likely come-back.

      As KK would have put it, these are “frightened little men.”

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  1. kkkkkk UPND is afraid of a come back why? Fear not just know what you are doing.Your deeds will speak for you stop forcing people to belive that you have performed people will see and apprieciate for themselves.Like the author of the above article i concour with him, well said period.

  2. Lungu can not win anything without violent caders and bribes ………..

    Neither which he has………..

    ST , UPND is not practicing brutality against the opposition, that is just a lie to try to cover ground………….

    Forward ………….2031

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  3. Why is our president losing sleep over Lungu? Kutumpa, and now he says he doesn’t think.
    I challenge anyone here especially praise singers to show at what point Edgar Lungu said he plans to come back.
    Some PF supporters like Chilufya Tayali have been saying ECL should come back,bthe diggers newspaper reported that Lungu is planning a comeback simply because he met with two clergymen.
    ECL has not said he wants to come back, why this fear?

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    • No can lose sleep over lungu in UPND…….

      The media just have no stores to write about, than to hallucinate that lungu can come back and people are worried………..it just media hallucinations

    • @sparka, then why is HH hallucinating about Lungu coming back? On three public occasions he has attacked Lungu. His kutumpa comment was on why would Lungu want to come back? Because uko Kutumpa. Now this alebwelelapo kwisa comment.
      Why is HH seemingly preoccupied with Lungu? Leave the media out of this.

    • The president is in effect just laughing at lungu and those hallucinations of a come back……….

      Nothing to make a big story of……

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    • Spaka, don’t downplay what he said. He meant every word he uttered. He is afraid of competition. He likes living in reverse mode when his hand is in forward symbol. Some of the comments that come from the president’s mouth are regrettably unnecessary.

    • One time I shared a room with someone. This someone jumped out of his sleep shouting IT HAS BEEN RIGGED, HE CAN’T WIN… I asked who can’t win. LUNGU CAN’T WIN. What are you talking about? He recovers and sobers…yeah so it’s just a dream damn!

    • Mulongoti Machayi

      The president is not worried about lungu and is infact surprised at the brazen thought of a lungu comeback……….

      It is also becoming clear lungu is only playing to the comeback audience to try to exact concessions from the GRZ against his many financial irregularities……….

    • Spaka, Kaps

      First you accuse the media of cooking stories, then you hastely dive into Lungu cutting deals, “concessions”, with government. You must be insane. What’s wrong with you? Is it Lungu or it is Hakainde talking in the video as quoted? You are not coherent at all. Kindly find that video I am referring to, then come back to give a fair comment about the subject here.

  4. Lets allow ECL to take a break there is so much he can contribute to outside active politics and encourage PF to support him is finalising the FTJ Democracy project Zambia urgently needs

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    • No one has no skeletons in the closet owing to human nature infallibility. Hichilema has his share too. But he conqured the seemingly insurmountable to place him atop the food chain. Let Lungu face a fair election scrutiny.

  5. For the people who think anyone in GRZ is losing sleep over lungu ……..

    Lungu would be the easiest person to beat in an election……….too many skeletons under his bed……….just too many.

    Lungu would not withstand the scrutiny of an election process………unless he chooses to contest without facing the media, or answering any questions…….even then….

    The allegations that would come his way would prove too hot…………..

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  6. A Tembo muzibalini what HH knows about a Lungu. There is a dosier waiting to land on the Parliament floor any time that Lungu will say, ‘Nkwe nkwe.’ lungu himself knows it and there was a pact agreed in the presence of ara bii. If it was in the old days, a Lungu would have been sent into exile, but he was just told to go quietly into the sunset. Lomba, you pipo who do not know anything you are provoking the loser to gain Dutch courage from Jameson.

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    • If there is a “pact agreed”, either one party feels they wrongly cowed him into it or he feels he has enough stamina to challenge that “pact”; to go above that “sunset” and head for sunrise. Humans evolve everyday, no soul can stop change of heart.

  7. He should state so that we withdraw the benefits of the ex-president. there’s no way he can be benefiting from retirement package and waiting to come back. Bo nichimbwi afwale tangalala.

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    • There is nothing to withdraw in terms of benefits. When did UPND give him retirement package or has he claimed for it? As long as he is alive, the constitutional Office of The 6th President of Zambia, funded by tax payers won’t neglect him. In this regard all visiting dignitaries like Kamara Harris should pay duty visit (duty bound courtesy calls) to that office. But politics always overshadow reason.

  8. Article is rubbish, comments are even more so.
    This newspaper belongs in the gutter and I will be stopping reading it.

    • Don’t even announce. Close the door behind you as you leave. Real men just pack and go. Am afraid only a BenTen kiddie belittles and insults everyone’s intelligence before sidetracking.

  9. @Spaka, looking at the frequency of your comments over this matter, you are confirming you are yourself losing sleep over ECL’s purported comeback.

    • That is because im certain as the sun will rise every day, lungu will not come back………

      I am surprised people can think lungu can come back……….

      His critics have enough ammunition on him to start WW3……….

      Lungu carries so much baggage that even 1/2 the allegations will sink the PF boat………….

  10. With all the B0ll0cks and misinformation being put out by LT
    Its only natural to resond ….
    ECL a threat, not to the majority, and I really doubt he is that stup1d to even try

  11. LT, like other media houses, is not a newsmaker. How we react to the news given to us is none of their business.
    The president of Zambia gave his own personal view in a video that is making rounds about Lungu’s supposed return to active politics. It is on this backdrop that Sean Tembo and others like you and me are basing the comments on. The media has not fabricated anything on this matter. Attacking messengers is the worst form of incivility.

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