Zambia’s former President Edgar Lungu warned against jogging in public
Zambia’s former President Edgar Lungu has been banned from jogging in public, as authorities describe his weekly Saturday workouts as “political activism”.
His Saturday runs with ordinary members of the public and supporters of his Patriotic Front (PF) party have been attracting a lot of attention.
Mr Lungu has been told to seek police approval for future jogging events. The police order comes amid speculation that he will make a bid for the presidency in 2026.
Lungu’s jogging popularity
Mr Lungu, who lost the August 12 presidential election to Hakainde Hichilema, has been jogging every Saturday since September 18 in different parts of the capital, Lusaka. He has been joined by hundreds of people, including PF members, former ministers, musicians and celebrities, who wear matching T-shirts and chant slogans.
Mr Lungu has said that he jogs to keep fit and interact with ordinary Zambians, but some observers have seen his exercise sessions as a way of mobilizing his supporters and maintaining his visibility.
Lungu’s political ambitions
Mr Lungu, who served as president from 2015 to 2021, has not ruled out running for office again in 2026, despite a constitutional provision that limits a president to two terms.
He has argued that his first term, which he completed after the death of his predecessor Michael Sata in 2014, should not count as he did not serve a full five-year term.
However, his eligibility to stand for a third term was challenged in court by his opponents and civil society groups, who accused him of violating the constitution and undermining democracy.
Lungu’s legal troubles
Mr Lungu is also facing several legal challenges since he left office, including a probe by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
He has also been sued by some of his former ministers, who are demanding that he pays back the salaries and allowances they received after the dissolution of parliament in May 2021, which the Constitutional Court ruled as illegal.
Mr Lungu has denied any wrongdoing and accused the new government of President Hichilema of persecuting him and his allies.
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