President Edgar Lungu has been conferred with the honorary freeman status of Solwezi Municipal council. 
Solwezi Mayor Ezekiel Mulonga bestowed the Head of State at a colourful ceremony held at Solwezi Lodge. 
The event was witnessed by Lands Minister Christabell Ngimbu, North-western province Permenent Secretary Amos Malupenga, Solwezi Town Clerk Jim Zya, senior government officials, civil leaders and hundreds of residents.  
The Mayor said the resolution to honour President Lungu was passed on May 15 during the full council meeting. 
President Lungu in accepting the Honorary Freeman said he is humbled by the gesture bestowed on him. 
 He said solwezi municipal council has demonstrated to be above partisan politics. 
He urged the local authority to continue working hard in delivering services to the people of solwezi. 
President Lungu directed Local Government Minister Dr. John Phiri and other line ministries to assist the local authority address the challenges it is faced with. 
Meanwhile, over 200 opposition members of the MMD and UPND have defected to the ruling patriotic front (PF) . 
The defectors, who included the former executive members in Mwinilunga and Solwezi, said they decided to join PF because the ruling party has proved to be a progressive party. 
President Lungu welcomed the defectors and urged them to work flat out with him and the entire party in unifying and developing the country.