Zambia Election: Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, on August 16, 2021, won the country’s presidential election with a landslide victory over incumbent President Edgar Lungu, stated the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
- Zambia’s Electoral Commission reported that he got more than 2.8 million votes to President Edgar Lungu’s 1.8 million votes, achieving one of the biggest electoral wins in Zambia’s history.
- This marks the third shift of power from a ruling party to the opposition since Zambia’s independence from Britain in 1964.
- Hichilema will become Zambia’s seventh president since the reintroduction of multi-party democracy in 1991 by the founding president, the late Kenneth Kaunda, who had ruled the country as a one-party state for more than two decades.
About Hakainde Hichilema:
- 59-Year-old Hakainde Hichilema was born into humble beginnings in the southern district of Monze.
- He managed to get a scholarship to the University of Zambia, and later graduated with an MBA degree from the University of Birmingham in the UK.
- He went on to become one of Zambia’s richest men, with business interests in finance, ranching, property, healthcare, and tourism.
- He is also a member of the opposition party United Party for National Development in Zambia.
- He was appointed as the party’s new president after the death of Anderson Mazoka in 2006.
- Hichilema has been presented with the Africa Freedom Award by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in October 2017.
Zambia financial Crisis:
- Hakainde faces dire challenges in reviving the country’s democratic and economic landscape.
- Zambia is in dire financial straights, and it became the continent’s first pandemic-era sovereign default in November after failing to keep up with its international debt payments.
- Zambia’s economic debt is a major challenge.
- Under Lungu’s leadership, Zambia’s debt jumped from 36 percent to 110 percent of GDP.
- Among other issues are corruption, executive dominance, and increased violent extortionary by cadres under the Patriotic Front.
- Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern, and East Africa.
- Its neighbors are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west.
- The capital city of Zambia is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia.
- The currency used here is Zambian kwacha.
Note: Apart from its iconic Victoria Falls, the country has a lot of natural water resources compared to other southern African nations.