Former Zambia President Edgar Lungu has headed to court over an alleged travel restriction by the incumbent government.
President Edgar Lungu filed a lawsuit after he was prevented from attending an event in South Korea, according to reports.
Edgar Lungu was Zambia’s sixth President and served from January 2015 to August 2021. Prior to his tenure as head of state, he served as Minister of Justice and Minister of Defence respectively.
The former South African leader was said to have been invited to attend a world peace conference but was ejected from his plane as the Zambia government did not issue him clearance to travel.
According to court documents submitted, Edgar Lungu is currently requesting a judicial review at the Lusaka High Court, where he is contesting the Zambia government’s decision to prevent him from traveling to South Korea.
His party, the Patriotic Front (PF), has denounced the allegedly unlawful move of the Zambian government.
A spokesperson from Lungu’s party, PF, Emmanuel Mwamba, argued that “if he is invited and the trip is paid for or he can meet the cost of his own trip and that of his entourage, he doesn’t need to inform governments.”
According to Mr. Mwamba, the former president had previously been denied permission from the cabinet office to leave for a medical trip.
He added, “These draconian and dictatorial actions are a violation of fundamental rights of the former president and have no place in true democracy.”
Edgar Lungu was ousted by the incumbent president, Hakainde Hichilema, in 2021.
Even though Edgar Lungu subsequently proclaimed his retirement from active politics, many people believe he is considering a comeback and may run in the 2026 elections.
In June, the current administration seized over 20 properties connected to Lungu, a move described by his attorney as “a political witch hunt”.
Edgar Lungu’s properties that were formally taken by the Zambian government include 15 two-story flats, a lodge with three stories, a farm, and a house.
The properties were taken under the 2010 Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crimes Law, which gives the state the right to take possession of property it thinks was obtained unlawfully.