PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is not running for a third term of office at the 2021 general election, which means he remains eligible to contest, says PF chairperson for elections Yamfwa Mukanga.

In an interview, Mukanga argued that President Lungu would re-contest next year’s general election because he remained eligible, adding that it was a pity that some lawyers could not understand the eligibility case.

“We believe that his eligibility is certain. He is going to contest. There is nothing like the way people are writing that ‘third term,’ there is nothing like that. I think people should be able to read the Constitution and understand. And it’s a pity that even some lawyers cannot understand so I even question the education some people have. So, we need to look at it and explain to the people so that they can easily understand, otherwise he is eligible,” Mukanga said.

When asked about senior officials in the party that wanted to challenge President Lungu, he said no one had come out in the open.

“If those people are talking to you, journalists, they are talking to wrong people because those people who are trying to say, ‘we will run for the Presidency’ should come out in the open, we see them. Nobody has ever come out in the open. If they are talking, they are talking from their closet, and if they are talking from the closet, they are wasting time. The Central Committee already declared Edgar Lungu as the candidate for the convention,” Mukanga said.

But when reminded that the ruling party expelled Lusaka lawyer Kelvin Fube Bwalya, popularly known as KBF, for wanting to challenge President Lungu at the convention, the former minister said KBF was no longer a member of the ruling party.

“KBF is not our member, don’t even talk about him. When did KBF become our member? It is because when KBF was given a position wrongly of vice chairperson, elections, then he came out and said, ‘he wanted to contest.’ But I want to tell you the truth, I don’t want to talk about people, I want to talk about things, which are more serious. PF has achieved a lot of things under the leadership of Edgar Chagwa Lungu. We need to see how best we can continue with what we have achieved so that at the end of the day, PF continues to be the ruling party. I am in Western Province right now conducting elections in readiness for the convention and we are doing very well on the ground,” said Mukanga.

The former transport and communications minister’s remarks follow repeated arguments from the legal fraternity, with some maintaining that the Head of State was ineligible to recontest next year’s presidential election owing to the fact that he was sworn-in twice, while another group of legal brains say President Lungu is eligible as he had not been served a full time the first time he was elected.