INTERNATIONAL and local bodies have predicted President Edgar Lungu will win his second and last term in office in the forthcoming 2021 general election.

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), a member of the Economist Intelligence Group, said the 2021-25 period the Patriotic Front will govern Zambia will be part of the turbulent years as the country will go into an economic recession due to debt crisis and the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile the Center for Leadership and Good Governance, a local NGO, has said the 2021 electoral victory by President Lungu will be premised how voters will perceive his performance in transforming under-developed rural settings into cohesive communities with profitable and productive opportunities.

The EIU has also predicted a stoking widespread unrest in 2021 following the election race between the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) led by Hakainde Hichilema who previously promised Armageddon if he loses an election.

During two separate press briefings, Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and newly launched civil society coalition, Democracy and Motherland Defenders Coalition (DMDC), disclosed the existence of a scheme in which a team of foreign nationals are allegedly engaging some civil society, religious grouping and to discredit Zambia’s electoral system with a view to causing havoc ahead of the 2021 General election.

Mr. Kampyongo has since ordered the alleged foreign mercenaries to leave the country immediately or they will be hounded out.

And Dr. Masauso Chirwa, Director Center for Leadership and Good Governance, said the litmus test for continuation of the Lungu Presidency post-August 2021 lies in whether voters in previously underdeveloped or neglected areas are able to enjoy equitable access to basic public services and social amenities.

Dr. Masauso Chirwa

“Issues such as rural electrification and access to good roads, health services, water supply and sanitation in rural and peri-urban areas and agro-industrialisation will play a vital role in 2021 elections,” said Dr. Chirwa.

Dr. Chirwa said those key factors, amidst the opposition campaign that will be premised on corruption, make the Lungu administration relatively popular among the rural population which makes up 56 percent of Zambia’s population.