August 16, 2021

Zambia Wakes Up to a New President-Elect

Zambians voted last week, and the results show that they elected Hakainde Hichilema as their new president.

The fiercely contested presidential elections – which saw social media access widely restricted, along with freedom of movement and assembly severely curbed last Thursday, 12 August – signaled a turning point in the southern African nation.

Zambia’s electoral commission confirmed on Monday morning, 16 August, the official results, showing that the 59-year-old businessman had won the top job with 59.38% of the vote, beating out incumbent Edgar Lungu’s 38.33%; the landslide victory also meant there would be no run-off contest.

Once confirmed, Hichilema’s Twitter account tweeted an image of him standing in front of a crowd, with the caption “Thank you, Zambia”, on the same day.

These elections were Hichilema’s sixth attempt at attaining the presidency, and his third time challenging Lungu, who has narrowly won the 2016 elections.

The now-former incumbent’s six-year rule was tainted by widespread corruption, human rights abuses, and a sluggish economy that exacerbated unemployment. The prevalent dissatisfaction ensured Lungu’s dismissal from office.

Image Credit: Source