Lungu rules out handpicking successor

Zambian President Edgar Lungu. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has ruled out handpicking his successor, state radio reported.

President Lungu made the remarks when he addressed Zambians living in Swaziland on Saturday, ahead of a regional summit.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government, was set to discuss the Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration: Industrialisation and Regional Economic Integration.

Succession plans

Zambian political parties lack clear succession plans and when their heads of party serve their time, they were usually left in disarray.

"Zambians will chose. This is not a family affair. It doesn't work like that," President Lungu was quoted saying.

"Even President (Michael) Sata didn't handpick me."

The governing Patriotic Front (PF) party underwent a chaotic succession fight after the death of President Sata, its founder in 2014.

The opposition

In 2001,second President Frederick Chiluba hand-picked Levy Mwanawasa, to the chagrin of Sata, which move forced the latter to form PF that would in 2011 wrestle power from the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD).

President Lungu was flirting with the idea of contesting the 2021 election, an idea the opposition was vehemently opposed to.

The matter was currently in court awaiting judicial interpretation on whether or not President Lungu was eligible under the new charter.

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