Zambian Ex-President Lungu’s Jogging Events Identified as Political Activism by Police
Public Jogging or Political Activism?
Edgar Lungu, the former president of Zambia, has recently come under the scrutiny of the police for his public jogging events. These events are being viewed by law enforcement as a form of “political activism”. The police assert that the jogging sessions, which involve members of Lungu’s Patriotic Front (PF) party and occur without the presence of his security officers, amount to an “unlawful assembly”.
A Warning from the Police
The Zambia Police Service has issued a stern warning against this practice. They have explicitly stated that they will not permit Lungu to continue his routine jogging sessions with scores of PF members. In a statement released by Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga, it was made clear that PF members intending to join Lungu on his jogging program should notify the police in advance.
Concerns over Public Safety and Traffic Management
One of the main reasons cited by the police for this warning is the need to ensure public safety and manage traffic effectively. During these jogging events, there have been instances where the free flow of traffic was disrupted, raising concerns over public safety. Hence, going forward, Lungu has been ordered to notify the police in advance when planning to jog in the future.
Unlawful Assembly and Political Activism
The police have expressed strong disapproval of the way these jogging events have been conducted, describing them as an “unlawful assembly” and “political activism.” They emphasize that Lungu’s jogging program should be carried out with his security detail and without any political activism. Any future processions involving Lungu are expected to strictly adhere to security protocols and refrain from any form of political activism.
Recent Legal Disputes
This development comes on the heels of a recent incident where Lungu sued the government, alleging that they had prevented him from flying to South Korea for a conference. However, he later withdrew the case. The escalation of these events is indicative of a tense political climate in Zambia, particularly surrounding the activities of the former president.
Speculations about Lungu’s Future in Politics
After a six-year tenure, Lungu lost the 2021 presidential election to Hakainde Hichilema. Despite this loss, there is widespread speculation that he is planning to return to politics in the 2026 elections. This potential return could be one of the reasons behind the heightened scrutiny of his public appearances and activities.
In light of these developments, it is clear that the line between public activities and political activism in Zambia is becoming increasingly blurred. The authorities’ response to Lungu’s public jogging sessions serves as a stark reminder of the tension that exists within the country’s political landscape.
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