FORMER republican president Edgar Lungu has apologized to Zambians for the mistakes made by his administration.

Meanwhile, as Lungu, who is still PF president, was saying now is not the time for squabbles, one of his aspiring successors Chishimba Kambwili’s cadres arrived with “Kambwili 2026” banners at the solemn event.

Speaking during the memorial service of the fifth republican president Micheal Sata, Thursday, Lungu said the PF had laid a foundation for social and economic prosperity.

“We gather here like we have always done in the last six years to honour the memory and celebrate the life of the excellency president Michale Chilufya Sata, the gallant founding president of the Patriotic Front party. We therefore must use this occasion as a mirror to judge ourselves of how best we are doing our part individually and collectively to ensure the dream of our founding father is kept alive. We find comfort from our grappling hearts knowing that we as Patriotic Front while in government worked tirelessly to fulfill some of the key social and economic milestones that his excellency Micheal Chilufya Sata had embarked on,” he said.

“We built roads, bridges, airports, schools, hospitals and universities across the country leaving no one behind. We laid a firm foundation stone for social and economic prosperity for all by pursuing an momentous and ambitious infrastructure agenda. Yes, we may have made mistakes in our line of duty, yes, we have at times come short of our people’s expectation and yes, we have sometimes broken their trust. For that, we can only render our sincere apologies.”

He said the party had done an honest introspection and that the party would emerge stronger.

“In the same vein we want to assure our people that we have done an honest, self introspection and we have reformed our hearts and minds and that we shall emerge stronger and better. president Sata taught us to love one another, to share the little we have, he taught us to be each other’s keeper. We must try always to hold on to these virtues each day we live, we must do service to others above service to self gratification. We should not use multi-politics to divide ourselves into regions, tribes or create a wedge between ourselves and those of the other side of the political divide. Before we are PF or FDD, UNIP or UPND, we are Zambians first. We should learn that in a democracy, we cannot all agree. We must always serve the people with humility, dignity and honesty for they are true masters of this country,” Lungu said.

Lungu urged members of the PF not to let the party die.

“I want to say directly to leaders and members of the mighty Patriotic Front, the party of choice for millions of Zambians. There is no better way to honour the memory of this gallant son than pursuing and promoting the values and principles that shaped his life. We must never ever let PF die. No matter the circumstances, PF must live and arise. PF is the mass movement for all Zambians and it is not for sale to the highest bidder. This is not the time for small talk and petty squabbles, this is not a time for lamentations,” he said.

“We must never let our loss and disappointment define our future, the future of this great party PF. There are more lessons in defeat than in victory. We must use these lessons to build an even more dynamic, resourceful and far reaching organisation. Time has come for the leadership of the PF to take stalk of ourselves.”

Lungu said he was ready to hand over to the next PF president.

“The time has come for some of us, including myself, to accept the fact that we have done our part and it is time to give way to a new generation of leaders. We must give way to leaders that build on our collective gain and history and take this party to even greater heights. I am waiting to hand over power to the next president of PF, I hope this will be soon. Let me just challenge that as we introspect, let us look at each other and say ‘is this person going to take the legacy of president Sata, the legacy of president Lungu, the legacy of PF into the future or is this person going to drive us into a ditch’? It is very important, yes!” said Lungu.

And Sata’s son Mulenga, who represented the family, called on the party to honour his father’s memory by being united.

“As we seek to take over the mantle of leadership, we should remember the message of one Micheal Sata, ‘love one another’. A party that is not built on unity and love will not last very long and others will pick up the pieces and take over from us,” said Mulenga.

Meanwhile, there was confusion during the memorial mass when some PF cadres arrived at the solemn event bearing “Kambwili 2026” banners while shouting ‘Imbwili’.

The youths argued with some ushers who asked them to lower the banners as it was disrespectful.

After the cadres refused to heed to this advice, former Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit national coordinator Chanda Kabwe tried to intervene but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

It was only when there preferred PF successor, Kambwili, addressed them that they obliged.

“We are at a funeral, why are you doing this?” Kambwili asked them, adding that he was not aware of their machinations.

The cadres then lowered their banners but continued shouting “Imbwili” throughout the remainder of the event and the PF choir followed suit.