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Zambia's President Lungu takes oath of office: all you need to know


Zambia’s Edgar Lungu has officially been sworn in as president of the southern African nation today. Lungu was declared winner of the disputed August 11 polls.

The leading opposition’s petition against his reelection was thrown out by the country’s constitutional court on technical grounds. Their bid to halt the inauguration of Lungu was also thrown out yesterday.

Highlights of Lungu’s swearing in speech

1. Zambia must diversify its mono-economy, by that Lungu promises to wean it off copper.
2. Zambia to explore nuclear energy as part of its power mix
3. Need to indigenise science and technology research and skills base must correspond accordingly
4. Government to introduce radar based technology to monitor and curb road accidents.
5. Upped anti-corruption fight, “I will fight corruption. Engaging in corruption cannot equal the pride that comes from achievement through hard work.” – Lungu said.


10:35 GMT: Edgar Lungu arrives at swearing in venue to thunderous cheers and applause. he is accompanied by his wife Esther Lungu

Red carpets rolled, traditional troupes dancing to traditional drums, security presence is high as media people try to get a glimpse of the president.

Dressed in blue suit with red tie, Lungu waves at the ecstatic crowd and salutes members of the security agencies and other top dignitaries as he makes his way to the dais.

10:45 GMT: A priest delivering a message to commence the official proceedings. Earlier President Lungu shared a biblical quotation on his social media handles

“This is the day that the LORD has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” – Psalms 118:14

11:00: Lungu takes oath of office from Chief Justice of the republic, upper court judges all up standing, dignitaries are up standing.

11:10: President and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Zambia addresses the populace, starts by long loud chants which are responded to energetically. Among others: “Viva Zambia.”

Doves and balloons as a sign of unity

President Lungu and his vice, after taking their oaths and appending their signatures to the oath, released doves and balloons as a sign of unity among Zambians.

UPND’s Hakainde Hichelima combine biblical Psalms and Mandela on the morning Lungu takes office

He wrote on his official facebook wall

“In the words of the great statesman and hero of our time Nelson Mandela “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.

“And as the Bible says in Isaiah 61:7-8 NIV: Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.

“And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. [8] “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.

“Colossians 3:17 NIV: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Good morning fellow countrymen and women.”

Who and who are present?

Already, local media reports that there are four presidents in the country

  • Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe
  • Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni
  • Botswana’s president Ian Khama
  • John Magufuli of Tanzania.
  • William Ruto, Kenya’s Deputy President is also present

The venue?

At the Heroes Stadium in the capital Lusaka

The August 11 elections

  • Edgar Lungu is leader of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party. He went into the August 11 presidential election with nine other contenders.
  • His main contender however was Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND)
  • At the end of the polls, Lungu was declared a first round winner with 50.35% of the vote.
  • Hichelima according to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) got 47.6% of the votes
  • The incumbent president won with some 100,000 votes.
  • The opposition protested the results and headed to court.

The UPND’s ‘unsuccessful’ petition and court losses

The opposition UPND went to court with a petition challenging Lungu’s reelection. According to them, the elections were rigged by the ruling party in collusion with the ECZ.

We present a timeline of the court appearances which comprised two parts, the petition and subsequent application to halt the swearing in of the incumbent. Immediately after the petition was thrown out, the government slated September 13 for the inauguration of the president.

August 11 – Elections (presidential and legislative) were held along with a referendum
August 20UPND file petition at Constitutional Court challenging poll results. This was in line with a deadline of filing in 7 days after polls *_UPND wanted interim reliefs among others
Lungu should hand over power to the Speaker of the National Assembly as the case is heard
Election materials with the ECZ should be transferred into the Court’s custody._*
Both were dismissed by the court in late August.
September 2 – The court set September 2 to start hearing the substantive case
September 3 – The court said it will extend the deadline for hearing of the petition as the legal 14-day period was likely to elapse
September 5 – The petition was thrown out with 3 judges citing elapsed time, while 2 others said the petition had to be heard
On the same day, the opposition stated that they rejected the ruling of the court
September 9UPND went to a Lusaka High Court to halt the swearing in of Edgar Lungu
The court threw out the application stating that it did not have the mandate to rule on the issue
September 12 – A last ditch attempt at the Constitutional Court to halt the swearing in was also thrown out.

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