By David Kapoma
About two (2) months ago now, I made a deliberate choice to try and bring out the positive sides of all the aspiring presidential candidates in this year’s elections. I started off with bringing the best out of the UPND leader Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, after which I later did justice to the iron lady Edith Nawakwi.
At the time I started the series I believed I was going to have an easy chore as I believed I was only going to write four (4) or five (5) articles. My judgement was not right as it now looks like I need to do about ten (10) according to the ECZ update. We will have more candidates than I thought we may have in this year’s general elections. I also promise to do a summary that will look at all the candidates once I have looked at every single one of them individually.
Before I proceed with my positive details on president Lungu, I wish to clearly indicate that in my writing, I will not address Edgar Lungu as president but will rightly put him as a presidential candidate for the patriotic front. This I apologise to the PF family
Edgar Lungu was born on November 11th 1956 at Ndola Central Hospital. He was brought up from a very humble family on the Copperbelt. His humble beginnings from house number 4001 in Kitwe’s Chimwemwe Township are perhaps what have shaped his belief that humility can take anyone anywhere. He is married to Esther Lungu a woman who has been with him through thick and thin.
Edgar Lungu is a father of six children who among them include the well known daughter Tasila Lungu. Despite living a comfortable life even before being ushered into office as president of the republic of Zambia, his children have remained humble with some still working in private companies regardless of the father’s position or status in the country.
He is regarded as a jovial father who is always throwing jokes during family time. His children will tell you that when they want to have some good laugh they always call on him for a light moment. Those close to him can attest to the fact that he is a serious person but always want to add some wittiness in his character. He’s simply a man one would feel comfortable relating with.
I must say that I spent more time here as I realised this is one area where most people don’t know about Edgar Lungu. This is not information that even ‘Uncle Google’ has.
Edgar Lungu and his wife Esther meet Bishop Joseph Honto of Christian Power Bible Ministries in 2007.At this point he was practicing his law with Masiye Advocates but had his practicing license withdrawn by the then MMD government. At the time, his wife was engaged in some business and farming activities. After Several meetings with Bishop Honto, he and his wife joined the church which at the time was meeting at lotus basic school.
After being saved together with his wife his salvation was well proven when he introduced his entire family and some members of his community in jack compound to church, after which he and his family have never looked back. Following his commitment towards Gods work, the church saw the need to open a cell in his home. “He is the one who was picking me every Wednesday for cell meetings held in his home. Being a humble person he always is, he drove a small Ceres car and me being tall I found it hard to enter the vehicle, but I had to do it because I always enjoyed his company. His wife was our cell treasurer and she was very strict with money and so faithful that she kept the 11th money in her home for three year without touching it until she handed it over. Edgar loves dancing and always took it to the dance floor in church” This is how Bishop Honto remembers the two.
With time Edgar and his wife suggested that the church be moved to a bigger place and offered together with another church member to pay rentals as the church was moved to the YMCA building. The church then appointed Mrs Lungu as church secretary which she still is. Until now Edgar and his wife have taken up the responsibility of paying rentals for the church. Their son Madalitso bought the church chairs as his own contribution towards God’s work.
To show his desire for God, when he become president he encouraged his Bishop to start fellowship at state house which today has encompassed all believers from all churches and the national alter has been established.
This is perhaps the reason why the moment he noticed things were going bad after becoming president he turned to God and called for a national day of prayer and fasting. The first of its nature in this country’s history.
Edgar graduated from the University of Zambia as a lawyer in October 1981 and joined a law firm Andre Masiye and Company in Lusaka. He subsequently underwent military officer training at Miltez in Kabwe. In his early days Edgar worked at ZCCM, Barclays Bank and Ministry of Justice among others.
Edgar started his political career in the UPND which he later left to join the PF and contested for Chawama seat in 2001 but lost the election. He remained in the PF and was appointed to be a member of the central committee. He remained a very loyal member and one of president Sata’s favourites.
After the 2011 elections, Edgar won the Chawama seat and was appointed minister of home affairs at a seemingly crucial time when the PF was experiencing intra-party spats. In less than a year president Sata appointed him as minister of defence in charge of the armed forces. I remember in March 2013 when I was briefly detained together with NAREP President Elias Chipimo and other NAREP officials at Kitwe Central police for unlawful assembly, Edgar ordered for our release and issued a statement the following day to apologise for the action the police had taken which he described as unfortunate.
He rose in ranks until he found himself the PF candidate in the 2015 elections which he won despite starting off in that race at the back. As republican president, Edgar Lungu has made history by being the first president in Zambia to have a female vice president, who he has since maintained to be his running mate in this year’s elections. He was also quick to give the constitution to the citizens, the matter which has been talked about for a long time. To further show commitment he has promised a referendum which will go along side the general elections.
As I conclude I have to state that Edgar has really gained experience in politics as evidenced by his public address skills which have improved in a short period of time.
Next week I shall be looking at the interesting positives of the person I believe will be the youngest candidate in this year’s elections Andyford Mayele Banda standing on the People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) ticket.
Good bye for now and God bless Zambia.