Today in Lusaka, was the day, where the gloves are off and the reality sets in. It is not that people are opening up presents to early, as the Christmas morning is upon just yet. However, there is someone who got their glee and their grove on. That is Zambia’s own head honcho, their own Wonderboy and Gods Grace, Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Whose been allowed to run for a third term by the Constitutional Court.
That is a significant step, as 106(3) of the Constitution says: “A person who has held office as President is not eligible for election as a third term”. Another person and fellow dictator who did similar trick as Lungu, is Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza, who didn’t amend the Constitution before the election in 2015 after serving already two terms. Now, Lungu is doing the same trick. He thinks he is pulling the rabbit out of the hat, but instead he is showing his true aim. To rule for life.
On the same day, as he is allowed to run for a third term. Daily Nation reports that: “This week on Tuesday during a special interview on ZNBC, Mr Chanda directed Law Enforcement to arrest people using social media to report falsehoods about President Edgar Lungu’s health” (Daily Nation – ‘POLICE TO ACT ON STATE DIRECTIVE, 07.12.2018).
So, clearly the state is in high gear and ready, as anyone questioning and spreading rumors about the President might meet the law at some point. Just like activist and opposition politicians. Because the Patriotic Front isn’t playing around.
That is what the key part of their statement today said: “The Patriotic Front (PF) is delighted with the outcome of the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court that has cleared the path for Republican and PF President His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu to contest the 2021 elections” (…) “We do not have time to waste in any meaningless debate in the aftermath of this court decision on the eligibility; but we are focused to deliver on development. That is what we were elected for. May I also take this opportunity to thank the ever increasing party membership across our nation for their zeal and spirit of brotherhood that permeates through the rank and file of the structures of the Patriotic Front” ( Hon. Davies Mwila – ‘PRESS STATEMENT ON THE LANDMARK DECISION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REGARDING THE ELIGIBILITY OF REPUBLICAN AND PF PRESIDENT- HIS EXCELLENCY EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU TO CONTEST THE 2021 ELECTIONS’ 07.12.2018).
As seen by his own party, they were not playing games about it and gloating in the victory, as if it was a surprise that he would get another term. That was in the cards as there was no evidence of him stepping down or considering doing so. That is why they were so happy with the reasoning from the Constitutional Court which stated like this: “According to the concourt, President Edgar Lungu served for two years and not three years. “A term can only be considered for three years and not two years, President Lungu only served for two years. We therefore declare that he is eligible to contest the 2021 General election. “ stated the concourt” (Zambian Watch, 07.12.2018).
With that in mind, the first stepping stone, the first hurdle, the first giant leap towards Life Presidency has begun, as the President sealed his Third Term. The rest will be from now formalities. Now, we just have to await amendments and changes of the laws. To make him eligible again. As he cannot pull off the same trick to run again. Than, he has the whole time or the whole term.
We have seen this elsewhere and now we know, Lungu is in for the long-con, not the short-con. He is not leaving and anticipate to rule indefinitely. Nothing else seems unlikely. Especially today. Peace.