Newly-elected Zambian leader Hakainde Hichilema was sworn in on Tuesday after a comprehensive election victory hailed as a rare triumph over authoritarianism and a milestone in African democracy.
The colorful ceremony was attended by among others, South African President HE Cyril Ramaphosa, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, and Kenyan President HE Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the current Chairperson of the East African Community Heads of State Summit
Also in attendance is Kenyan former prime minister Hon Raila Odinga
Hichilema, 59, took the oath of office before thousands of jubilant supporters gathered at the Heroes Stadium in the country’s capital of Lusaka.
The majority of jubilant supporters wore red and yellow which is the color of President Hakainde’s United Party for National Development.
During his swearing-in ceremony, President Hakainde had dressed in a dark suit and red tie.
“I, Hakainde Hichilema, do swear that I will faithfully and diligently perform my duties… in this high office,” he declared, Bible in hand, as the packed stadium clapped and roared.
This was his sixth attempt at the presidency which he won with a landslide. He beat the incumbent Edgar Lungu, aged 64, by almost one million votes.
The victory is the 17th opposition win in sub-Saharan Africa since 2015. The utgoing president Edgar Lungu had earlier congratulates HE Hakainde and promise to lead a smooth transition.