Friday 3 November 2017


Zambia's President Edgar Lungu has warned the judiciary that there will be chaos if he is barred from standing in the 2021 election, saying they should not be a "copycat" of Kenyan judges who plunged the country into crisis after annulling President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in elections in August.

Mr Lungu's eligibility for the poll is being challenged by critics who argue that he is serving his second and final term, and cannot stand for re-election.

They say that the period he served after the death of President Michael Sata in 2014 counts as his first term.

Mr Lungu's supporters maintain that he merely finished his predecessor's term, and he has been serving his first term since his victory in the disputed 2016 election.

Addressing his supporters in the north-west, Mr Lungu said: "To my colleagues in the judiciary, my message is just do your work, interpret the law without fear or favour and look at the best interest of this country. Don’t become a copycat and think that you are a hero if you plunge this country into chaos.

"I want to close by saying that those people who don’t like peace and freedom will say President Lungu is intimidating the courts of law. I am not intimidating the judiciary. I am just warning you because I have information that some of you want to be adventurous. Your adventure should not plunge us into chaos, please.

"People are saying Zambian courts should emulate Kenyan courts... People are saying Zambian courts should be brave and make decisions which are in the interest of the people but look at what’s happening in Kenya now.

"I am saying the courts of law in Zambia should also see what’s happening. They should not behave like they are not part of our African continent. The most important thing I can say now is, 2021, I am available to stand if my party chooses me.” BBC


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