By Ruth Chayinda & Masauso Mkwayaya

Former President EDGAR LUNGU has announced his return to active politics.

Mr. LUNGU says he will continue as Patriotic Front -PF- President.

The Sixth President says his decision comes after careful and deep reflection, wide consultation and prayer.

He says he will NOT allow the PF to die or have factions under his watch.

Mr. LUNGU, who announced this during the MICHAEL SATA Memorial Ceremony at Embassy Park in Lusaka today, has urged opposition political parties to join hands with the PF and defend democracy which Mr. SATA believed in.

The former President further said he is not returning to politics because he has an ambition to become President again as anyone among the opposition leaders can become President.

And PF Acting President GIVEN LUBINDA said the party has not conceded defeat to an illegal assembly which had no blessings of its hierarchy.

Mr. LUBINDA said it is unfortunate that the illegal assembly was held four days before the party could celebrate the founder of the PF.

And Mr. SATA’s son MULENGA, who was representing his family, thanked the PF party and other political parties for standing with the family to remember his father who served the country.

Mr. SATA died 9 years ago.

But Government says former President LUNGU’s announcement to get back to active politics is NOT a surprise as it is on record of asking him to stop disguising himself as a former President.

Chief Government Spokesperson CORNELIUS MWEETWA says Mr. LUNGU has been an active Politician.

Mr. MWEETWA, who is also Information and Media Minister, has welcomed Mr. LUNGU to the political arena, adding that he is free to go about his political business.

He says Government is focused on dealing with more important issues such as addressing the high cost of living.

Mr. MWEETWA has told ZNBC News in a phone interview that Government is focused on the economic transformation of the country.

MEANWHILE, Mr. MWEETWA said the UPND Government has nothing to do with wrangles in the opposition PF.

He said the PF needs to run its own affairs.

AND MORGAN NG’ONA who was appointed PF Secretary General at the recent Extra Ordinary Convention says former President LUNGU needs to apply formally if he wants to re -join the party.

Mr. NG’ONA says the PF constitution clearly states that any member that resigns is expected to make an application to be considered back in the party.

He says Mr. LUNGU will also be expected to serve a three year probation before he can be considered to be re -admitted in the former ruling party.

Mr. NG’ONA was reacting to Mr. LUNGU’s announcement to return to active politics.

He said this in a phone interview with ZNBC News in Lusaka today.

AND the United Party for National Development -UPND- has advised former President LUNGU to conduct his politics within the prevailing peaceful political environment.

The UPND says Zambia has been a peaceful nation in the last two years under the leadership of President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA and any attempts to deviate the country from that trajectory will be met with the rule of law.

The UPND says it stands ready to meet the former retired Head of State on the political landscape in a battle of ideas.

The ruling party has also called on Secretary to the Cabinet PATRICK KANGWA to enforce the law on former Presidents conditions of service which the former President has voluntarily forfeited.

This is according to a statement issued to ZNBC News this evening by the UPND Media Team.

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