Lusaka, Zambia – July 5, 2024

Former President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has expressed grave concerns about the current administration’s undermining of democratic principles and the erosion of the rule of law in Zambia, particularly in relation to the recent expulsions of Members of Parliament.

“As everyone is aware, I was President of the Republic in 2015. During my tenure, there was no time, no time whatsoever, did we interfere with the workings of the National Assembly. My government respected the principles of national and separation of power,” Former President Lungu said.

President Lungu bemoaned the state of governance, contrasting it with his administration’s practices.

“Unfortunately, in terms of respecting the principles of power, we practised under contemporary powers, and the previous ruling party had been washed away by this government. Since Mr. Hakainde Hichilema took over the reigning power, we have seen the integrity of power being undermined.”

He said the current government is abusing the respected office of the Speaker, turning it into a tool for oppressive retributions against perceived opponents of the ruling party. “This has been done repeatedly,” President Lungu asserted.

He called for national opposition to these actions, warning, “If Zambia will not stand up to oppose and reject the illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional expulsion of the nine-month-old family, then our citizens will have approved the brutal assassination of Mr. Hakainde Hichilema.”

Reflecting on his Presidency, President Lungu stated, “When I was in the State House, we never interfered with the courts. We never interfered or gave instructions to the government. Never. Respect for the rule of law and the principles of power was very, very important to us, especially during the time that we were fighting the crisis.”

Addressing the affected Members of Parliament, President Lungu conveyed his solidarity. “I feel your pain and anguish because you were a democratic candidate to serve your people in Zambia. I wish to promise here that we will fight with you. We will do everything possible, both politically and legally, to ensure that dictatorship does not take root in our country.”

President Lungu reiterated the importance of the rule of law and democracy, affirming, “As far as the rule of law and democracy is concerned, you are still our MP. We will hold back the parliament in the name and spirit of the rule of law and democracy.”

He urged the citizens to look at Article 72 of the Constitution, emphasizing its significance and expressing hope for a return to the principles of law and democracy.

“Those of you who have had time to look at Article 72 of the Constitution will very, very miss that. It’s not easy at all to dismiss the rule of law and democracy in the manner that it is. So, I’m glad that this is a good opportunity to know that we are a country of law and democracy.”

President Lungu’s passionate address calls for a collective effort to preserve Zambia’s democratic values and the integrity of its governance structures. His remarks have sparked a renewed conversation about the importance of upholding constitutional principles and protecting the nation’s democratic foundations.

The sixth President assured the affected lawmakers that, “I will do everything within my power to correct the situation you are in. It’s not easy to wantonly expel an MP according to our constitution so it’s not over yet.”


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