Zambian president ready to ‘accept’ defeat

Zambian president ready to ‘accept’ defeat
Zambian President Edgar Lungu said he was prepared to accept defeat in the country’s August 11 elections.

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President Lungu was quoted by state TV as saying: “The First Lady tells me, don’t worry about the results, but worry about the peace, and I assure her, I am not in politics for the sake of power but service. If the people say no, I will accept the outcome. I will not destroy the country’s peace for the sake of political power. I would rather preserve peace than des
troy it.”

The 59-year-old leader faces an election in less than two years since he rose to power following the death of his predecessor Michael Sata.

His remarks came amid reports that oposition supporters over the weekend held hostage part of his entourage.
The incident happened soon after President Lungu departed Monze District for Lusaka after a trail of political meetings in the stronghold of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).

Zambia Catholic bishops recently issued a statement denouncing pre-election violence and hooliganism that were slowly entrenching themselves as the countr approached elections.

Public vehicles
“Suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) members on Saturday ambushed and held hostage some government officials and damaged public vehicles in Bweengwa, Monze District,” reported state-daily Zambia Daily Mail on Monday.

“The cadres, armed with spears, machetes and stones, ambushed the motorists and held some of them hostage until they were rescued by police reinforcements later in the night.

“The government officials were returning from a public rally addressed by President Lungu at Bweengwa Primary School.”

The fracas

The rowdy mobs also injured some police officers, the paper reported, quoting Zambia Inspector General of police Kakoma Kanganja nganja, who assured that the culprits would be arrested and prosecuted.

The presidency later issued a strong statement cautioning against political violence.
The opposition party accused said the allegation was mere speculation as it had not been proven that the fracas was cause by its supporters.

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