Hakainde Hichilema has taken over as Zambia’s new president after winning a historic election by defeating incumbent Edgar Lungu this month.
It was his sixth bid for the presidency and his 2021 victory with almost one million votes more than his rival signalled a landslide victory.
Hichilema’s electoral success has inspired many opposition politicians who are fighting hard to overcome authoritarian regimes on the continent.
His victory is the 17th opposition win recorded in sub-Saharan Africa since 2015.
“It’s massively inspirational,” Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu told the BBC adding “Zambians have showed us it can be done, no matter what they put us through, no matter the odds,” he added.
Lissu survived an assassination attempt in 2017 after being shot 16 times by people.
During his swearing in ceremony in Lusaka, Hichilema, 59 received huge cheers from citizens who gathered at the Heroes Stadium in the capital for his inauguration.
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) August 24, 2021
As he takes office, President Hichilema is be expected to tackle Zambia’s economic hardship and improve democratic practices that ends restricted freedoms under the previous regime.
Hichilema has already vowed to do things differently and attract investors to build the economy.