By SYLVESTER MWALE –
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) presidential candidate Edgar Lungu yesterday successfully filed his nomination papers to contest the 2015 presidential elections, bringing an end to the differences that had characterised the ruling party in the last two months.
Security was tight at the Supreme Court grounds as Mr Lungu arrived in an open-roof vehicle with his wife Esther around 12:30 hours waving the PF symbol to a thunderous welcome by scores of supporters and sympathisers.
Mr Lungu was received inside the Supreme Court building by Acting President Guy Scott and his wife Charlotte before proceeding to file in the nomination papers.
Mr Lungu who doubles as Defence and Justice Minister had earlier joined Dr Scott at Government House for a Press briefing to consolidate the reconciliation process in the party before proceeding to Embassy Park to lay wreaths at the tomb of former and late presidents.
Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda declared Mr Lungu’s candidature valid around 13:00 hours and wished him good luck as he joined the race to State House on January 20th, 2015.
The Chawama Member of Parliament who was also accompanied by several MPs and party national chairperson Inonge Wina later addressed the media and the waiting crowd outside the Supreme Court.
“My constituency now is Zambia, we are winning by 60 to 70 per cent,” Mr Lungu told journalists soon after his candidature was declared valid. “We will continue building more schools, hospitals and more roads that President Sata had started.”
“I thank you for covering us, you can now go and write your stories, whether negative or positive, you are enjoying the media freedom.”
Mr Lungu said he would be inclusive in his governance approach and appealed to the people to go out and campaign now that he had filed the nominations.
He assured that the PF would abide by the electoral code of conduct and ensure that next month’s presidential elections were free and fair.
Dr Scott assured the people gathered at the Supreme Court grounds that the past confusion had been buried and the party was ready to campaign for Mr Lungu as a united force.
Dr Scott and Mr Lungu jumped in the same motor vehicle which was driven along the Independence Avenue after addressing the gathering and are today expected to address a public rally in Kabwe.
Meanwhile, business in Lusaka literaly came to a standstill as hundreds of people walked and drove to the Supreme Court to witness the filing of nominations by Mr Lungu.