Prominent political leaders in Malawi have joined President Lazarus Chakwera in congratulating Zambia’s president-elect, Hakainde Hichilema, aka ‘Bally’, on his victory following general elections held on August 12, 2021.
On Monday, August 16, 2021, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu declared Hichilema winner of the closely contested presidential election. Out of the votes counted from 155 constituencies (out of 156), Hichilema had amassed 2,810,777 against incumbent President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s 1,814,201.
Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima said in a brief statement he and his wife, Mary, extend “profound and sincere congratulations to our brothers and sisters of the Republic of Zambia on the occasion of successful election”.
“We congratulate the president-elect and the United Party for National Development (UNDP) for the electoral victory at the polls. We pray to God to bless the President Elect sumptuously with deep wisdom and compassion to lead Zambia to greatness.
“Our sincere aspirations are for the continued cordiality and warmth between the peoples of our nations,” reads the statement.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has also issued a statement extending warm congratulations to Hichilema on being elected as the 7th President of the Republic of Zambia.
“I wish to extend my best wishes to the president-elect for his success as he prepares to take up the responsibilities and challenges of Zambia’s high office.
“I am optimistic that the warm relationship and good neighbourliness that exist between Zambians and Malawians will continue to flourish under the leadership of His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema. Zambians have spoken and it will be important for those that have lost to accept the will of the people for continued peace and tranquillity across Zambia,” said Nankhumwa who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for Southern Region.
President of United Democratic Front (UDF) Atupele Austin Muluzi also congratulated the president-elect. In a brief statement, Muluzi said: “Dear President Elect, please accept my warm congratulations on your victory. My best wishes as you prepare to take the responsibilities and challenges of your high office”.
On Saturday, the outgoing President Lungu claimed the polls were not free and fair. He alleged his Patriotic Front (PF) poll officials were chased from some polling stations in UPND stronghold provinces.
However, on Monday, President Lungu conceded defeat and congratulated Hichilema, signalling a smooth transition of power.
In a statement, President Lungu thanked “countrymen, women and the youth” for the authority vested in him since 2015.
“All I ever wanted 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.
“We held our general elections on Thursday, 12th August, 2021, and the Electoral Commission of Zambia has released the final election results. Based on the revelation of the ECZ final results, I will comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transition of power.
“I would, therefore, like to congratulate my brother, the president-elect, His Excellency, Mr Hakainde Hichilema for becoming the 7th Republican President,” he said in a statement he read on state television.
The outgoing leader also congratulated those who participated in this general election and won at various levels.
“Lastly, I would like to thank all those who voted for my party, the Patriot Front and I. To you I say, your vote was not in vain, please continue supporting us,” said Lungu.
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