Zambia’s newly-elected president, Hakainde Hichilema, has been sworn into office after pulling off a stunning rare victory for an African opposition leader. In a general election held on August 12 Hakainde Hichilema defeated his predecessor Edgar Lungu. Hichilema defeated outgoing President Edgar Lungu by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia. The victory is the 17th opposition win in sub-Saharan Africa since 2015.
Hichilema becomes Zambia’s seventh president and his inauguration marks the third time that power has peacefully shifted to opposition parties in Zambia, cementing the country’s proud history of regular, relatively credible elections and peaceful transfers of power.
Hichilema has worked as the local CEO of and international accounting firm, from 1998 to 2006. He has been chairman and member of several companies in Zambia. Today, Hichilema is said to be the second biggest cattle rancher in Zambia and thus one of the biggest suppliers of meat to the local Zambian market.
He has the task of uniting a country of 18 million people with several political and ethnic divisions that were heightened during the election period. Zambia’s battered economy is also a top priority.