Zambia’s Hichilema Wins Election in Landslide

By AFP

Aug 16, 2021 06:43 PM

Idah Sakala, a fresh maize reseller, poses with fresh maize cobs in Lusaka, Zambia, on July 1, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Business tycoon and opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema was on Monday declared winner of the hotly contested presidential election in debt-burdened Zambia.

With 155 of 156 constituencies reporting, official results showed Hichilema had captured a landslide of 2,810,757 votes against 1,814,201 for President Edgar Lungu.

"I therefore declare the said Hakainde Hichilema to be president-elect of the Republic of Zambia," electoral commission chairman Justice Esau Chulu said in a televised address.

The 59-year-old veteran opposition politician beat his long-time rival Lungu following a bruising race held against the backdrop of deteriorating standards of living.

Lungu, who has been in office for six years, had tried to retain his mandate despite growing resentment about rising living costs and crackdowns on dissent.

As president, Hichilema - who has an economics degree and has promised to rebuild investor confidence - will face an economy wracked by high debt, inflation and unemployment. In 2020, the copper-rich southern African nation became the first country on the continent to default on its debt in the coronavirus era.

This is the sixth time Hichilema has run for the top job and the third time he has challenged 64-year-old incumbent Lungu, who just narrowly won their last contest in 2016.

Shortly after results were declared, Hichilema tweeted a picture of himself standing in front of a crowd with the caption "Thank you Zambia."

AFP



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