PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says he had to register his intentions to re-contest in 2021 in order to stop those who were positioning themselves.

Speaking to journalists at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport before his departure for Ghana today, January 6, 2017, President Lungu wondered what those who were criticizing him were scared of.

“Why should they rise against me? If the party says I can stand, then I will stand, why are they scared? In fact, it is not time to worry about 2021 but I wanted to put this to rest because others were jostling and positioning themselves and bringing confusion in the party. You know very well who’s been going round positioning themselves for 2021. So I just wanted to register my voice to them to say I am also available in case, so is that a problem? No!” said President Lungu.
On Thursday, January 5, 2017, President Lungu said he had read the Constitution and concluded that it allowed him to stand for a third term, a statement which has been received with mixed feelings among senior party members.

A debate has ensued among politicians and lawyers in the interpretation of the statute regarding the matter; the latest of which being former Secretary General and justice minister Wynter Kabimba who said: “the current constitution allows the incumbent to stand in 2021”.