Lusaka, Zambia – In an unprecedented move, former Republican President Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu was halted from embarking on his scheduled flight to South Korea this Saturday. Dr. Lungu, who had already checked in and received his boarding passes, was suddenly ordered off the plane due to abrupt instructions “from above”.
Scheduled to attend a prestigious World Peace Conference in Seoul, South Korea, the former president was to join other ex-heads of states from the region as a guest speaker. The sudden cancelation of his trip, especially without immediate explanation, has sent shockwaves through both domestic and international political circuits.
The incident raises questions concerning Zambia’s adherence to democratic norms. The constitution grants former heads of states, like Dr. Lungu, absolute rights to travel domestically and internationally without seeking official permission. The only requisite being a prior notification to the government, which then facilitates such journeys. Even in cases where the government chooses not to assist, the former president should be able to make personal travel arrangements.
This unexpected bar on Lungu’s travel may hint at possible underlying tensions between Zambia’s current administration and the former president. Such acts can have a lasting impact on Zambia’s global image, particularly concerning its respect for political freedoms and the rule of law.
The international community awaits a reaction from South Korea, the host nation of the conference, and more clarity from Zambia on the sudden and unexplained restrictions placed on Dr. Lungu’s travel.
This event also prompts a larger discourse on the rights of former leaders and their roles post-tenure in a democracy. As the story unfolds, many will be watching to see how Zambia navigates this delicate situation and the ramifications it may have on its democratic fabric.
More details to follow…