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Ex-Zambian president stripped of retirement benefits for U-turn to politics

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Thursday, November 2, 2023

Former Zambian president, Edgar Lungu. (-)

The government of Zambia in Southern Africa has withdrawn retirement benefits and privileges from former President Edgar Lungu for making a U-turn from retirement and returning to active politics.

Mr Lungu lost the presidency to Hakainde Hichilema in 2021, leaving Zambia in a state of crippling debts before announcing his retirement.

The former president has already been notified about the immediate withdrawal of his retirement benefits and privileges, government spokesman Cornelius Mweetwa told the BBC.

Mweetwa said it was clearly stated in the law that former presidents who returned to politics would lose their benefits.

As a retired president, Mr Lungu was entitled to three security officers, a diplomatic passport, three state cars, a furnished house, medical insurance and funeral expenses on his death.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Mweetwa said the former leader would now be treated with “equality of the law”, just like any other senior citizen of the country.

Mr Lungu is aiming to capitalise on growing dissatisfaction with the continued economic hardships in the country under his successor, in what the BBC says would set the stage for a bruising 2026 presidential race.

While announcing his political comeback last week, Mr. Lungu said he was returning to fight for and defend democracy in the country.

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