Zambian Opposition Vows To Block President Lungu’s Inauguration

Fredrick Ngugi September 09, 2016
Zambian police arrest an opposition protester. Zimeye

Three weeks after Zambia’s incumbent President Edgar Lungu (pictured below) was declared the winner of August 11 elections, disgruntled opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has vowed to continue his fight to block Lungu’s inauguration, according to News24.

With his running mate Geoffrey Mwamba, Hichilema has moved to the High Court to challenge President Lungu’s win, after Zambia’s constitutional court rejected their election petition on Monday.

“This is not time to give up. I will not give up. I will take it up until our courts do the right thing for the people of Zambia. The Zambia people must reclaim their democracy because it is gone. We don’t have a country anymore,” Hichilema said.

Delivering the ruling, Judge Annie Sitali said, “There was no petition to be heard before the court,” since the 14-day deadline for an election petition to be filed had expired.

“We wish to tell the nation that we have rejected the court ruling,” Hichilema’s United Party for National Development (UNPD) said in a statement.

Time To Work

Edgar Lungu

President Edgar Lungu

Despite the opposition’s challenge on his re-election, President Lungu is set to be sworn in on September 13th.

The President has declared that his main focus will be to tackle Zambia’s mounting problems of unemployment, inflation, and drop in copper prices. Copper is Zambia’s main export.

“For the next five years, it will be total work, there will be no honeymoon,” Lungu told his supporters after he was declared the winner.

The 59-year-old president took office in 2015 in a snap election, following the death of former President Michael Sata.

Hakainde Hichilema

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema dancing after filing his nomination papers at the Supreme Court in Lusaka on august 8, 2011. Photo credit: Thomas Nsama/Tumfweko

And while Hichilema, a 54-year-old prominent businessman and economist, has lost his presidential bid five times, he continues to insist that the August election was stolen.

International observers, including the African Union, the European Union, and the United States, have congratulated President Lungu on his win and have called on Zambians to come together to work with the democratically elected government.

Zambia has enjoyed many years of relative peace and has held peaceful transfer of power to different political parties, including the opposition, contrary to what has been happening in many African countries, where incumbents refuse to relinquish power despite their advancing ages.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates