Edgar Lungu says there should be no fuss because he is not available for 2026 elections.
Speaking to reporters soon after attending service at Chainda’s United Church of Zambia’s All Saints Congregation in Lusaka on Sunday, the PF leader said those advising him to handover the party leadership are wasting their time because he is very competent in understanding the law.
“Just like I gave up the presidency, I handed over everything and I followed procedure. And just as I have handed over the presidency to President Hakainde Hichilema, I will hand over to the next president of PF. I’m not available for 2026 and PF must start…itself, rebranding itself and bring in a new figure and contest the elections,” says Lungu. “Am I going to resign? It is personal with my employers who are the Government of the Republic of Zambia. And go and ask them if I have resigned or not. But I can tell you that I’m not available in 2026. And those advising me are wasting their time because I’m very competent in understanding the law and following it all. At this point I’m still available to cooperate with the president of the PF soon to be named. So what is the fuss? Baletina (are they scared?) Ninaka naime (I’m also tired). I want to rest. I have done my part. I have run my race. So don’t worry about that.”
A Dinka proverb from South Sudan states that, “The night is very long on a sorrowful day.”
Defeat or loss in any scheme of things – in any competition – can be devastating. It becomes terribly distressing when you had put all your confidence and resources in one basket. When one is or was obsessed with power and retaining the championship! But it seems reality is slowly setting in on Edgar. The season of accepting where he truly belongs is upon him! How quickly he adjusts to the new environment will define his persona and certainly how his PF can deal – heal – from the bruising electoral defeat. It is a challenge for a once mighty party to find itself in the abyss of opposition. But they made their bed, let them sleep in it.
And as he says, there is no need for Edgar to cling on to the PF leadership after his dismal performance both at party and republican leadership levels!
In fact, Edgar was already haggard after one year plus months in State House. He was at sixes and sevens. He pulled through a disputed 2016 presidential elections and surely 2021 was a no go area but he insisted on standing. He should have allowed a new face to lead the PF and contest the polls. Maybe that way he could have ameliorated the mess he has left.
Clearly, he was overwhelmed and couldn’t see properly. And because he loved power so much without understanding his mandate, it swallowed him!
As we stated before, Edgar should have reconsidered his appetite for the presidency! The last elections were offside for Edgar. Even if he had rigged himself into power, he didn’t have the requisite stamina to undo his mess! We know it hurts that he’s no longer wielding power. He can mask – the cry – it because he is an adult! But whoever takes up the leadership of the PF will have a tall order to steady the ship.
It’s sad that Edgar didn’t allow an elective general conference and now the party has to rebrand itself while licking, patching its wounds! Maybe the PF will now induce an emergency congress to rectify their mess!
The electoral defeat has finally humbled Edgar. He can now count himself out of play, out of the bigger picture!
We’ll watch how the PF rebuilds itself!