A former President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, has been warned against his public jogging events, with police describing his workouts as ‘political activism’.
In a statement on Monday, the police said Mr Lungu’s exercise sessions while escorted by members of his Patriotic Front (PF) party and without his security officers amounted to ‘unlawful assembly’.
The police noted with concern the unlawful assembly and political activism that was conducted by Patriotic cadres on Saturday September 23,2023, when the Former President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu was conducting his morning Jogging routine.
We would like to warn the Patriotic Front cadres that public gatherings or demonstrations, including political events should be notified to the police as by law established. Failure to do so amounts to a breach of the law. This is to ensure public safety, traffic management, and to prevent disruptions to the daily lives of citizens.
Africa Today News, New York reports that the former head of state was ordered to notify police in advance when planning to jog in future ‘to ensure public safety and traffic management’.
‘Mr Lungu should strictly adhere to security protocols and should refrain from any form of political activism,’ police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said.
This comes a few days after Mr Lungu took the government to court after he was allegedly blocked from travelling to South Korea for a conference. He later withdrew the case.
It was alleged that Mr Lungu was invited for a world peace conference but when he was about to depart, he was ejected from his plane because he did not have the government’s clearance to travel.
Mr Lungu is now seeking a judicial review in the Lusaka High Court, where he is challenging the government’s decision to stop him from travelling to South Korea, according to court papers he has filed.
After being in power for six years Mr Lungu lost the 2021 presidential election to Hakainde Hichilema. He is widely believed to be planning a comeback in the 2026 elections.