Zambia: Government Trims Retirement Benefits of Ex-President Lungu

According to BBC, the Zambian government has withdrawn retirement benefits and privileges from former President Edgar Lungu after he decided to return to active politics.

Government spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa confirmed that Lungu was immediately notified about the withdrawal of his retirement benefits and privileges.

After a significant loss in a presidential election in 2021, Lungu retired from politics. However, his retirement led to a leadership dispute within the Patriotic Front (PF) party, which ended up in court.

Lungu’s public jogs on Saturdays with PF supporters attracted attention, resulting in the former leader being instructed to seek police approval for future jogging events.

His decision to re-enter politics sets the stage for a potential clash in the 2026 presidential race. According to BNN Network, the law requires former presidents to give up their retirement benefits when they return to politics, which Lungu is now subjected to.

As a retired president, Lungu was entitled to various benefits such as security officers, a diplomatic passport, state cars, a furnished house, medical insurance, funeral expenses, and immunity from prosecution.

Upon re-entering politics, Lungu will be treated like any other senior citizen of the country, losing the privileges associated with his previous status. Despite his claims of victimization and safety concerns, the government asserts that he is entitled to the same level of security as any other citizen.

Lungu’s return to politics coincides with increasing public dissatisfaction over the ongoing economic challenges under his successor.

Civil society organizations have raised concerns about diminishing human rights. Lungu has pledged to address these concerns, champion democracy, and prevent the fragmentation of the Patriotic Front. However, the government dismisses his claims of life-threatening risks and selective victimization of his supporters, according to BNN Network.

Despite potential deregistration warnings from the government due to leadership conflicts, Lungu remains committed to rescuing his divided former ruling Patriotic Front party.

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