DEFENCE and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu yesterday filed his nomination papers to be adopted as a candidate for the Patriotic Front (PF) January 20, 2015 presidential election, declaring that he would “die a little” for the ruling party and the country.
But Acting President Guy Scott told Mr Lungu that he would neither campaign nor vote for him (Lungu) but wished the Defence and Justice Minister the best of luck.
At the time of filing his nomination Mr Lungu was the fifth PF presidential candidate after Commerce and Trade deputy ministers Miles Sampa, Kasama Central Member of Parliament Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Given Lubinda who is Kabwata parliamentarian and Mulenga Sata, the son of late President Sata.
Addressing his supporters at the National Sports Development Complex after successfully filing in his nomination at Cabinet office, Mr Lungu said he had offered himself for the position of republican president because he was capable of carrying forward President Sata’s vision and agenda.
Mr Lungu arrived at the National Sports Development Centre to a euphoric and thunderous welcome from his supporters amid tight security.
“I Edgar Lungu, the PF secretary general, Member of Parliament for Chawama, Minister of Defence and Justice do hereby accept your endorsement for the position of republican president. I am humbled by the confidence you have shown in me.
“I want to pledge that I will die a little for the PF members and the country as whole. President Sata gave me a lot of opportunities in leadership. He made me the chairman of the legal committee in the PF, he gave me two portfolios in Government, as Defence and Justice Minister. Above that he appointed me as secretary general of the PF and I want to asure you that I will not let you down,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu said president Sata formed the PF in 2001 with the agenda of serving the majority poor Zambians and that he understood the challenges many poor Zambians were facing and was ready to lead the country in finding solutions.
Mr Lungu said he had consequently decided to relinquish his position as PF secretary general in accordance with the party constitution and that it was his hope that the canvassing of votes from the electorate was going to be peaceful and without malice and violence.
“I shall pursue three things in my presidency. President Sata formed the PF in 2001 to serve the poor and I had been with him all the way. I will continue championing the causes of the poor because the PF belongs to them. I pledge to uphold the manifesto of the PF until 2016 and we are going to stand for what President Sata stood for. God does not want Zambia to be destroyed and we shall continue asking the guidance of God in our leadership,” Mr Lungu said.
And Dr Scott called for peaceful campaigns and reaffirmed his position that if the presidential contenders were not going to reach consensus by choosing one from among them by the end of the week, he would call for the general conference in the next 10 days.