It is Official, Hakainde Hichilema is President of the Republic of Zambia
He promises to put human rights, rule of law, press freedom and economic growth at the centre of their administrations goals
It was a colourful gathering at Lusaka's National Heroes Stadium. Zambian people gathered along with many international dignitaries for a celebratory yet "modest" Presidential inauguration of the 7th President of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema. In an inaugural speech which mapped the leader’s vision and plans to move Zambia forward, a promise to put human rights, rule of law, press freedom and economic growth at the centre of their administrations goals was made. He noted the vision of an open society for equal opportunity and renewing calls around greater efforts for Africa to chart its own economic revival through inter-continental trade while also focusing on greater private sector participation. He called on the active engagement of civil society institutions as well as those working in areas of governance to not shy away from offering much needed support to his administration in an effort of working for change together. "I will be a president of all Zambians, of those that voted for me and of those that did not," he said.
Hichilema defeated outgoing President Edgar Lungu in a landslide by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia that included being arrested at least 15 times in his political career by Zambian authorities. His repeated emphasis to all Zambians that this inauguration did not symbolise a transfer of power, but rather that the power lies with the people of Zambia and as their servant, his role is "to deliver to the people". In a very heated electoral contest of August 12th 2021, this statement is hoped to quell the political tensions that polarise the country to an extended degree. It is the third time that there has been a peaceful transition of power in Zambia from a ruling party to the opposition since the country's 1964 independence from Britain.
Four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote with many of them turning up to vote. President Hichilema’s first 100 days in office will be under scrutiny with analysis been given to the quick reforms that his voters and the world are eagerly anticipating.