Edgar Lungu was sworn in as president of Zambia before a 50,000 capacity crowd at the National Heroes Stadium in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, Tuesday.
The Herald reports that Lungu was formally re-elected president, after he was declared winner of the August 11th Zambian presidential election. Lungu’s inauguration was attended by at least four African heads of state, including President Ian Karma of Botswana, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, John Magufuli of Tanzania, and Robert Mugabeof Zimbabwe.
For their respective parts, the governments of Swaziland, Malawi, Kenya, and Namibia all sent representatives.
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Tuesday was declared a public holiday in Zambia, and thousands of Zambians who could not make it to the National Stadium monitored proceedings closely on large TV screens mounted in public places.
The inauguration was also beamed live on cable TV and was available for viewing in Zambia and six other neighboring countries, namely Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, and Namibia.
Lungu was sworn in alongside his running mate Inonge Wina. The two men were re-elected in the election, where official results released by the Zambian Electoral Commissionshowed that Lungu got 50.35 percent of the total votes cast to put him ahead of main opposition challenger Hakainde Hichilema who had 47.63 percent of the votes.
Meanwhile, Hichilema and his United Party for National Development (UPND) party have continued to dispute election results and promised to pursue all available measures to stop the swearing in of Lungu.
Following Lungu’s announcement as the winner of the election, Hichilema’s UNDP filed a motion in Zambia’s Constitutional Court seeking to invalidate the election results, but the courts dismissed his suit last week.
Hichilema had gone on to appeal to the Lusaka High Court, seeking an injunction to halt the swearing in of Lungu as Zambian president. He also asked the High Court to declare the inauguration be delayed until his appeal was heard.
Last Friday, the High Court threw out Hichilema’s petition.
Lungu, 59, came in to power in 2015, after the sudden death of then-President Michael Sata in 2014.