Zambia Swears in Hakainde Hichilema as New President

August 24, 2021
Hakainde Hichilema

By Adedapo Adesanya

Zambia has sworn in its newly-elected President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema.

Mr Hichilema assumed office on Tuesday morning after a ceremony attended by leaders such as Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Malawian leader Lazarus Chakwera.

He was sworn in alongside his running-mate and Zambia’s second female Vice President, Mrs Mutale Nalumango, during the ceremony.

In a keenly contested election, the new Zambian President defeated his predecessor, Mr Edgar Lungu, in a landslide victory by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia.

It was a stunning turnaround for the politician known as HH as he has spent several months in prison in 2017 for what was widely seen as politically motivated treason charges.

The charges were dropped under intense international pressure and have now ascended to the number one position in the South Central African country.

After initially indicating he may challenge the result, Mr Lungu addressed the nation, saying, “Based on the revelations issued at final results, I will comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transition of power.”

According to reports, Mr Lungu was booed by some of the crowd at the inauguration as he made his way to the stage at the packed Heroes stadium in the capital Lusaka to hand over power.

This is coming after his administration banned social media networks during the election, leading citizens to raise their voices through virtual private networks (VPNs). The ban by the government angered international observers and local voters alike.

Mr Hichilema called Tuesday “a new dawn in Zambia,” in a tweet ahead of the ceremony.

He wrote, “As I sit here in our vehicle being driven to Heroes Stadium, I see the love, the joy and the jubilation as people line the streets on our way. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you all so much.”

The youths of Zambia have been touted as the real heroes of the election as four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote and came out en masse to carry out their civic duty in what was considered “very personal to them.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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