Zambian President officially launches re-election campaign

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu in Paris, France, on February 8, 2016.PHOTO | AFP

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday officially launched his re-election campaign as he seeks another term in office.

Lungu, the presidential candidate of the governing Patriotic Front (PF) in the Aug. 12 polls, said his campaign will be based on issues and not character assassination or maligning of other contenders.

“I must tell you from the start that our campaign is different from the rest because we are the incumbent party in government,” he said during the launch at the Mulungushi International Conference Center in Lusaka, the country’s capital.

“That fact, in itself, is good for us because we have worked and we are proud of our record. So, we are going to show what we have done during our tenure of office,” Lungu said.

He said the governing party has done a lot and delivered in all sectors in the last 10 years of being in power, noting that the party has transformed the country through unprecedented infrastructure development.

To avert the spread of COVID-19, Lungu reiterated, the party will not be holding public rallies but has come up with campaign strategies that will ensure delivery of intended objectives.

Lungu has directed the health ministry and the police to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive guidelines by all political parties contesting in this year’s general elections.

Lungu has appointed former Fisheries and Livestock Minister Nkandu Luo as his running mate.

Samuel Mukupa, the party’s national chairman, said party structures have been instructed to campaign for Lungu, Lungu, who won the January 2015 presidential by-election following the death of former president Michael Sata to serve out the remainder of Sata’s term, was reelected to a full presidential term in the August 2016 election.

Sixteen presidential candidates are participating in this year’s general elections, including Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition, the United Party for National Development.