ECONOMIST Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been elected President of Zambia at the sixth time of asking after defeating incumbent Edgar Lungu.
The 59-year-old businessman becomes the seventh President of Zambia and his party UPND – the fourth to ascend to power since independence in 1964.He was declared winner of Thursday’s election, polling a runaway 2,810,757 votes against President Lungu’s 1,814,201 and a cast of 14 others whose performance paled into insignificance.
Mr Hichilema tweeted: “As we move beyond the campaign period, let us all agree to put Zambia first. We are one nation, one people, one Zambia. We must come together, united by a common love for our country and our people, so that we can begin moving Zambia forward.”
Mr Hichilema’s first go at the Presidency was in 2006 after he replaced Anderson Mazoka as UPND leader. He also participated in the 2008 presidential election after the death of Levy Mwanawasa of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy.
He was closest to victory in 2015, again in a presidential election, but lost to President Lungu by just under 30,000 votes. Before that, he had an unsuccessful bid in the 2011 general election won by Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front.