Zambia’s President-elect, Hakainde Hichilema, is expected to deliver his acceptance speech shortly. The Electoral Commission of Zambia declared him the winner of the August 12 polls earlier on Monday morning.
Hichilema won over 2.8 million votes against the incumbent President Edgar Lungu’s just over 1.8 million.
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Esua Chulu, made the final declaration more than three days after the presidential and national elections were held.
After five failed attempts at the Presidency, Hakainde Hichilema has finally succeeded. However, his party, the United Party for National Development, says the victory is not to be celebrated. UPND’s election chairperson, Gary Nkombo.
“If Mr Hichilema was here we would not have toasted to anything because this country has a lot of challenges. The challenges which the Zambian people in their collective wisdom have decided to lump on the shoulders of this one man. We must be quick to say that this one man is equal to the task and we must say watch this space.”
Nkombo went on to thank the nation for their support, recognizing how critical the youth vote was for their win.
“To find themselves in the position of authority as the case may be now and we call it the position of authority rather than the position of power because the power belongs to the Zambian people we’d like to thank the Zambian people. We want to make particular thanks to the youth of this country. We want to celebrate you.”
Hichilema has a tough job of improving the country’s economic situation. Zambia’s inflation is at 25%, the highest this century.
During his campaign run, Hichilema spoke of how there’d been little focus on economic development and this would be a key area for his tenure as President.
“Economic development cannot happen without investments and we as citizens of Zambia understand that we can only advance our country through investments. Otherwise how do you create jobs how do you alleviate poverty.”
Meanwhile, it’s unclear if incumbent, Edgar Lungu, and his party the Patriotic Front will follow through on their claims that the elections weren’t free or fair. Apparently, they are still exploring what legal recourse they have.
A look at Hakainde Hichilema’s previous interview with Sophie Mokoena