Lusaka (New Ziana) – Zambian President-elect Hakainde Hichilema on Monday described his election as an “honour and rare opportunity,” to serve the country, pledging to work hard to change the fortunes of the populace.
Addressing Zambians for the first time since being declared winner of Presidential polls held last Thursday, Hichilema was early Monday morning declared winner of the elections, defeating incumbent President Edgar Lungu who was seeking a second and final term of office.
Hichilema finally secured Zambia’s top office on the back of a coalition of 10 opposition parties dubbed the United Party for National Development (UPND).
According to official results, Hichilema secured over 2.8 million votes against 1.8 for Lungu.
“We are going to raise the standard. This team has not come to celebrate; this team has come to work, that is the value I personally bring to public office, hard work, diligent work,” he said.
“We pledge to the people of Zambia that we will foster a better democracy, rule of law being integral to that. Zambians should be at par with any other citizens of any democratic country around the world.”
Hichilema assured his predecessor, Lungu of his safety and security.
“You will be OK sir, do not worry. You will be OK,” he said.
Lungu conceded defeat and congratulated Hichilema.
“Based on the revelations of the Electoral Commission of Zambia final results, I will comply with the Constitutional provisions for peaceful transition of power. I will therefore like to congratulate my brother the President-elect His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema for becoming the 7th Republican President,” he said.
He thanked Zambians for their support during his tenure.
“All I wanted to do was to serve my country to the best of my abilities and together with you we indeed scored in many areas, of course there were challenges on the way but what I appreciated most was your support during the tough times.”