Edgar Lungu

Edgar Chagwa Lungu (born 11 November 1956) is a Zambian politician who has been the President of Zambia since 25 January 2015.[1][2] Under President Michael Sata, Lungu served as Minister of Justice and Minister of Defence. Following Sata's death in October 2014, Lungu was adopted as the candidate of the ruling Patriotic Front in a Convention of the Patriotic Front in Kabwe, for the January 2015 presidential by-election, which was to determine who would serve out the remainder of Sata's term. In the election, he narrowly defeated opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema and took office on 25 January 2015.

Edgar Lungu
Edgar Lungu, 26 july 2018.jpg
President of Zambia
Assumed office
25 January 2015
Vice PresidentInonge Wina
Preceded byGuy Scott (Acting President)
Michael Sata (President)
Minister of Defence of Zambia
In office
24 December 2013 – 25 January 2015
PresidentMichael Sata
Guy Scott
Preceded byGeoffrey Bwalya Mwamba
Succeeded byDavies Chama
Personal details
Born (1956-11-11) 11 November 1956 (age 64)
Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (present-day Zambia)
Political partyPatriotic Front (current)
(m. after 1986)
EducationMukuba secondary school
Alma materUniversity of Zambia

Lungu was elected to a full presidential term in the August 2016 election, again narrowly defeating Hichilema. Hichilema initially disputed the election result and filed a case at the Constitutional Court to nullify the result. On 5 September, however, the court dismissed the case.[3] Lungu was sworn in for his first full term on 13 September 2016.

Early life and careerEdit

Edgar Lungu in January 2015

Lungu was born 11 November 1956 at Ndola Central Hospital. After graduating with a LL.B. in 1981 from the University of Zambia, he joined the law firm Andrea Masiye and Company in Lusaka. He subsequently underwent military officer training at Miltez in Kabwe under Zambia National Service (ZNS). He then returned to practising law. He then joined politics.[citation needed]

In 2010, Edgar Lungu had his law practicing licence suspended by the Law Association of Zambia. This was after he was found guilty of professional misconduct.[4]

Political careerEdit

After the PF won the 2011 election, Lungu became Junior Minister in the Vice-President's office. He was subsequently promoted to Minister of Home Affairs on 9 July 2012.[5] He became Minister of Defence on 24 December 2013[6] after Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba resigned from his ministerial post, and he functioned as Acting President during President Sata's long term illness in 2013–14. He has also held a string of central positions in his party, including Chair of the PF Central Committee on Discipline, and he became PF Secretary General and Minister of Justice on 28 August 2014 to replace Wynter Kabimba, who was fired.[7] These positions were in addition to the Defence portfolio.[citation needed]

President Sata went abroad for medical treatment on 19 October 2014, leaving Lungu in charge of the country in his absence.[8][9] Sata died on 28 October 2014. Vice-President Guy Scott took over as Acting President, and Lungu was viewed as one of the main contenders to ultimately succeed Sata in a presidential by-election.[citation needed]

On 3 November 2014, Acting President Scott dismissed Lungu as Secretary-General of the PF.[10] He replaced him with Davis Mwila, the Member of Parliament for Chipili.[10] However, the next day, on 4 November 2014, Scott announced Lungu was to remain as Secretary-General.[11] On 30 November 2014, Lungu was elected as President of the Patriotic Front at a national convention of the party held in Kabwe, Zambia. However the convention was unusual because no voting took place. Instead, the unaccredited delegates elected him by raising hands.[citation needed]

View of the crowd at the inauguration ceremony

On 20 January 2015 Lungu contested the presidential by-election and beat his closest rival Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development by a narrow majority of just 27,757 votes (1.66%), with just 32.36% of the registered electorate participating.[12] He was declared the winner by the Electoral Commission of Zambia on 24 January.[citation needed]

This election and the following election Edgar Lungu won were chronicled in a book by Anthony Mukwita: Against All Odds.[citation needed]

Finishing Sata's term (2015–2016)Edit

Lungu was sworn in as President of Zambia on 25 January 2015 at the National Heroes Stadium in the capital Lusaka.[13]

The following month, Lungu forced the head of the central bank out of office and promised lower interest rates. He appointed Inonge Wina as Zambia's first female Vice-President.[14]

In March 2015 Lungu collapsed while holding a speech commemorating International Women's Day in Lusaka. After spending a short while in a Zambian hospital he had an operation for his narrowed oesophagus in Pretoria, South Africa.[15][16]

Lungu commuted the death sentences of 332 prisoners to life in prison on 16 July 2015 and condemned the massive overcrowding at the Mukobeko prison, calling it "an affront to basic human dignity".[17]

In October 2015, Lungu ordered a national day of prayer in hopes of preventing further damage to the economy. Top religious and political officials participated, and other public events were cancelled.[citation needed]

First full presidential term (2016–2021)Edit

President Lungu with Russian President Vladimir Putin, 26 July 2018

Lungu ran for a full term in the August 2016 presidential election, which turned out to be a rematch of the 2015 presidential election between Lungu and UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema. Lungu won the election with 50.32% of the vote, just a few thousand votes over the threshold for avoiding a run-off. He also increased his margin of victory over Hichilema to 100,530 votes or 2.72%. Hichilema refused to concede defeat after the announcement of official results and filed a case before the Constitutional Court, asking for the results to be nullified due to irregularities. The court dismissed the case on 5 September 2016 and Lungu was inaugurated for a full five-year term of office on 13 September.[citation needed]

In December 2019, Lungu expressed anti-LGBT rhetoric, comparing homosexual acts to bestiality, stating "Even animals don't do it, so why should we be forced to do it?... because we want to be seen to be smart, civilised and advanced and so on".[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Lungu is married to Esther Lungu and has six children.[19] He and his family are practicing Baptists.[20]


Against All Odds, a biography of Lungu by the Zambian journalist and senior diplomat Anthony Mukwita, was published by Partridge Africa on 5 January 2017.[21][22][23][24]

The book set records when it became the first Zambian book to go on sale at Barnes & Noble and the first Zambian book on a head of state to be featured in the London Book Fair in Hammersmith.[21][22][25][26][27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37086365 | Zambia's President Edgar Lungu declared election winner - BBC News
  2. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30970952 | Zambia Defence Minister Lungu wins presidential election - BBC News
  3. ^ Clare, Spencer; Zane, Damian (5 September 2016). "Africa Live: Zambia election challenge dismissed, Somalia suspends Kenya khat fights". bbc.com. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  4. ^ Zambian Watchdog (29 July 2010). "LAZ suspends MISA lawyer Edgar Lungu". Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Labour and Tourism Ministry re-aligned again, Masebo, Lungu appointed as Cabinet Ministers". Lusaka Times.
  6. ^ "Edgar Lungu is new Defense Minister". Zambian Watchdog. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Zambia: Wynter 'Bruised'.. Edgar Lungu Is New Justice Minister and PF Secretary General". All Africa.
  8. ^ "Zambian President Michael Sata goes for medical check-up", BBC News, 20 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Party rivalries grow as Sata ails", Africa Confidential, volume 55, number 21, 24 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b Scott drops Edgar Lungu as PF Secretary General (article apparently moved), Lusaka Times, 3 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Guy Scott reinstates Edgar Lungu as Secretary General until the burial", Lusaka Times, 4 November 2014.
  12. ^ [1] Archived 23 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine "The official results of the 2015 Presidential Election, as released by the ECZ"
  13. ^ Matthew Hill, "Zambian Ruling Party's Edgar Lungu Inaugurated as President", Bloomberg, 25 January 2015.
  14. ^ Matthew Hill,"Zambia central bank chief replaced as president vows lower rates", Bloomberg, 13 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Edgar Lungu collapse: Zambian president 'needs treatment abroad'". BBC News. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Zambia's president recovering after surgery in South Africa". Reuters. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Zambian president gives death row inmates life sentences", Reuters, 16 July 2015.
  18. ^ "US diplomat 'threatened' in Zambia gay rights row". 2 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Esther Lungu Tells story of how she met President Edgar Lungu". The Zambian Observer. 27 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Lungu is a kind man". Zambia Daily Mail. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Against All Odds: Zambia's President Edgar Chagwa Lungu's Rough Journey to State House". 5 January 2017.
  22. ^ a b Mukwita, Anthony (5 January 2017). "Against All Odds - Paperback (by Anthony Mukwita (Author))". ISBN 978-1482877243.
  23. ^ "Lungu's Rough Journey to State House goes global". 9 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Mukwita Says Book On Pres. Lungu's Journey To Plot One Selling Like Hot Cake". 11 March 2017.
  25. ^ Mukwita, Anthony (5 January 2016). "Against All Odds: Zambia'S President Edgar Chagwa Lungu'S Rough Journey to State House". ISBN 9781482877250.
  26. ^ "Lungu tie, hat fetch K500,000". 1 May 2017.
  27. ^ "'Against all Odds' impress Kirkus Review magazine". 4 May 2017.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Guy Scott
President of Zambia