Zambia's Lungu an 'embarrassment', says paper

2016-09-23 18:34
Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

Edgar Lungu (File: AFP)

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New York – Africa does not need any strong leaders but strong institutions. This was said by Zambian President Edgar Lungu during the just ended United nations 71st summit in New York.

According to Zambian Daily Nation, Lungu further said that Zambia endeavoured to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society through the consolidation of democracy.

"The importance of democracy in our society cannot be over-emphasised. It is an extremely important aspect of our political systems, which empowers people to freely participate in governance.

"As you are aware, Zambia held elections on 11th August 2016. Indeed this was yet another opportunity for Zambia to demonstrate her commitment to upholding and promoting the tenets of democracy…

"I therefore want to assure this august assembly that my government will use its mandate to continue protecting our peaceful democratic legacy and meeting the aspirations of our people," Lungu was quoted as saying.

His utterances came at the back of Zambia's recent elections which the main opposition dismissed as "fraud". 

'Embarrassing and hypocrisy'

He was sworn in early this month, with opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema saying the ceremony was "Illegal and unconstitutional"

Lungu, who first took power last year, won the August 11 election by just 100 000 votes. 

Following Lungu's remarks at the UN, the Post newspaper described his speech as an "embarrassment and hypocrisy". 

The paper argued that Lungu was in no position to talk about building strong democratic institution after he destroyed the country’s judiciary, as well as the "independence and integrity of law enforcement agencies".

"Edgar is talking about strong institutions and not strong men! Really? Hehehe! What strong institutions can Edgar talk about in Zambia? More than any other president of this country, Edgar has totally destroyed the independence of our judiciary," the paper said.

It would be remembered that  Zambian authorities ordered the closure of the Post Newspapers Limited on June 21, demanding $6.1m in tax arrears.

Its closure came as election campaigning was gaining momentum, with the critically independent newspaper being outspoken in its reporting of illegal activities and corruption by the government.


Read more on:    hakainde hichilema  |  edgar lungu  |  zambia  |  southern africa

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