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ZAMBIAN presidential hopeful and leader of the Patriotic Front, Edgar Lungu, has denied seeking funding in Zimbabwe saying he only met President Robert Mugabe to exchange notes on the happenings in both countries’ ruling parties.

Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba who accompanied Lungu to Zimbabwe on Wednesday said Zanu PF was a sister party of the Patriotic Front and that as both parties recently held general conferences there was a need for them to meet for mutual briefing.

“The meeting was meant to provide an opportunity for the two leaders to brief each other on their respective just-ended party conferences and current issues affecting the two parties,” said Kabala.

He added: “This meeting was important in many respects, including the fact that Mr Mugabe is SADC chairperson.”

Kalaba said the Patriotic Front party had received enough funding from the local well-wishers.

Lungu, who is also the current minister of defence, reportedly told Mugabe that he was confident Zambia’s democracy had matured and that the country’s politics had become positively competitive. He assured the Zimbabwean gman that calm and unity had returned to his party and the January 2015 presidential election will be held under a free and fair environment.

Lungu needed a court ruling to confirm him as the presidential candidate after internal squabbles erupted within the ruling party following the death of former President Michael Sata a couple of months ago.

But Lungu’s departure for Zimbabwe this week sent tongues wagging in Zambia with some activists expressing fears that he was seeking political aice from Mugabe.

Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, is largely seen as a violent dictator who rigs elections. Despite holding elections after every five years all of them have either been marred in violence or controversy. In all instances his party, Zanu PF, and state security agents have been blamed.

Source : New Zimbabwe