Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has trounced incumbent Edgar Lungu in a landslide victory during the August 13th polls.
The popular business mogul garnered a hefty 2,810,777 votes rounding the veteran politician by about a million votes. This as Lungu managed 1,814,201 votes according to the electoral commission. Meanwhile, votes from one of the 156 constituencies wasn’t counted on grounds that they would not affect the final tally.
Upon electoral commission chairman, Esau Chulu’s declaration of Hichilema’s victory, the capital Lusaka burst into celebration mode. The United Party for National Development (UNDP) supporters are rightfully feasting to their victory with the country being painted red and yellow, the party’s official colours.
Edgar Lungu served in various positions in government before rising to the top seat in 2015 in by-election following President Michael Sata’s death. That was the beginning of his rivalry with Hakainde Hichilema as he narrowly beat him in the polls. The same luck followed him to the 2016 general polls before the candle burned out this year.
Hakainde Hichilema’s brief profile
Born in Monze district in 1962, the six time presidential aspirant is a graduate of Economics and Business Administration from the University of Zambia. Following his graduation he cultivated a career in business administration raising through the ranks into top management. He served as C.E.O of prestigious entities like Grant Thornton Zambia, Coopers and Lybrand Zambia among others.Following the death of Anthony Mazooka in 2006, Hichilema took over as leader of his UNDP party and he has since been on the frontline for change in Zambia.
He first contested for presidency in the 2006 polls and came in third as Levy Mwanawasa swept the polls. Following Mwanawasa’s death in 2008, Hichilema threw his hat into the race and was second runner up once again. However, Hichilema didn’t bow down as he participated in the 2011 polls that brought Michael Sata to power. His popularity grew among the Zambians as he would narrowly lose to Edgar Lungu twice before ticking all boxes this weekend.
Hichilema calls for calm.
As the provisional results started filtering in at the weekend putting UNDP in the driving seat, tension in the South African nation started rising. Multiple cases of looting and massive security deployment were captured and made rounds on social media. Following these events, Hakainde Hichilema has come out to rally Zambians on a united peaceful front.
Zambia’s previous presidents.
Hichilema’s victory makes him the seventh Zambian to ascend to power since they attained independence in 1964. In the same manner it will be the third time power is transferred peacefully from a rulling party to another. An enviable feat on the African continent. Previous presidents include founding father Kenneth Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba and Levy Mwanawasa. Following Mwanawasa’s death, Ruppiah Banda led the country before he was ousted by Michael Sata who also passed on while in office. Guy Scot momentarily held the office before Edgar Lungu swept the by election in 2015. After close to seven years, Lungu has plunged the country into debt of a mind boggling $12 billion and hands over to Hichilema.