Zambia inaugurates Edgar Lungu as new President: Pledges unity

Zambia’s new President Edgar Lungu was sworn in Sunday, pledging to unite the country and rebuild the economy after narrowly winning a vote rejected by the opposition.

The Patriotic Front's Edgar Lungu, right, is sworn in as president at an inauguration ceremony in Lusaka Photo: AP

The Patriotic Front’s Edgar Lungu, right, is sworn in as president at an inauguration ceremony in Lusaka Photo: AP

Lungu, the former defence minister from the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), takes over the helm for the remainder of the late Michael Sata’s term until a general election scheduled for September 2016.

He promised to unite the southern African country and focus on building the economy of the continent’s second biggest copper producer, which has been hit by declining prices.

“I am aware of the various challenges that our people are facing and something must be done,” he said, listing poverty reduction as a key priority.

“I am very honoured that you have decided to make me your servant,” he said after taking the oath at a ceremony attended by thousands of Zambians as well as African dignitaries.

“You are the masters and I am your servant.”

He was declared the winner Saturday of an election last week that was disrupted by bad weather and poor voter turnout.

Lungu has vowed to continue the policies of his predecessor, including a contentious mining tax regime.

Zambia tripled mining royalties to 20 percent on January 1 from six percent, putting the government at loggerheads with mining firms already buckling under a fall in global commodity prices.

He said the government’s “desire to ensure companies pay the right taxes will continue”.

His rival in the closely-fought race, businessman Hakainde Hichilema, had promised to reverse the system.

As part of his plan to address poverty, the former lawyer said his adminstration will support small scale-farmers in order to improve food security.

“We shall therefore continue with president Sata’s legacy and I want to promise you the people of Zambia a new constitution,” he said.

The drafting of a new constitution, one of Sata’s pledges when he came to power in 2011, had been hit by a series of delays.

“We will definitely have a people-driven constitution,” he added.

 ‘Shape direction of Zambia’ 

Lungu, who comes from a minority Nsenga ethnic group, also spoke out against the threat of tribalism in the country of more than 14 million people.

“Tribalism is a threat to national security and peace. We need to shape the direction of our country, and together we can shape it,” he said to applause.

Thousands of Zambians filled the national stadium in the capital Lusaka to witness the ceremony, joined by past presidents Rupiah Banda and Kenneth Kaunda, the first leader of independent Zambia.

Lungu won a narrow 48.33 percent victory over Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND), accused Lungu of having stolen the vote, alleging irregularities.

The new president inherits a slowing economy and high poverty levels, with the key mining, tourism and agriculture sectors all struggling.

Despite the opposition concerns over alleged rigging, regional leaders lauded Zambia for conducting a peaceful election.

African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma applauded the people of Zambia for “organising an exemplary, successful and peaceful election.”

She said the vote “sets the pace” for the remaining 17 elections scheduled on the continent this year.

At the ceremony, Zimbabwe’s veteran leader Robert Mugabe said he was confident that Lungu will “succeed to keep Zambia united.”

“One Zambia, one nation,” he said.

Lungu is expected to convene his new cabinet next week.

“Lungu is our president now, all Zambian must respect that including our political opponents,” said Victor Chaponda, one of a sea of PF supporters at the National Heroes Stadium.

“We are all Zambians. One Zambia, one president and that is Lungu,” he added over a din of African drums and loud music.

Some Patriotic Front supporters carried aloft a mock coffin for Hichilema, saying they had politically buried the businessman after his fourth attempt at winning the presidency.--AFP

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33 thoughts on “Zambia inaugurates Edgar Lungu as new President: Pledges unity”

  1. Chenda says:

    Best wishes to the newly elected President of the Republic of Zambia.

  2. papa Afrika says:

    prophet Libunya usamasewele ndi mtundu wa anthu ….udat chan zau loseli wako pankhan ya zisankho ku Zambia

  3. Lungu Lungu, nice to have you as Zambia 1. Zambia for Northern Malawi I salute you.

  4. apao says:

    Bob Robert Mugabe is the only real president in Africa osati nkhuzi zinazi,

    1. apao says:

      Osatukwana bob, he’s afriman not. Statesman mumakodwela ndi zinthu zoti zidawoloka pa ocean kubwela Ku Africa za mkutu basi,

  5. chakazulu says:

    As a malawian the outcome of the zambia elections does not surprise me at all because the Devil Maxon Mbendera chair of the crooked malawi electroral commission was there as leader of observing african countries. Mbendera is an animal 95% of malawians dont like because of the way he murdered the malawi nation of the peoples choice of government opting to impose the Dpp on us.

  6. I totally disagree with the outcome of the elections bcz i suspect that something happened as Hakainde Hichilema is claiming.Edgar Lungu visited Zimbabwe to meet Mugabe some few weeks to elections.The visiting raised a number of questions bcz Mugabe is known by stealing votes all the time.He flew (Mugabe) to Lusaka on thursday before even the outcome of elections having confidence that Lungu will win bcz he taught him how to do it.That is why at the Airport ppl of Zambia chanted MUGABE MUST GO,bcz they know what part he played on that ended election.

  7. ndolaman says:

    We salute the new president of zambia and its people for havig a peacefull election.

  8. True patriot says:

    Wishing you HE Lungu,and all people of Zambia good health and life.

  9. Ngo says:

    Zakhalanso bwanji? Mmesa a certain Prophet from here prophesized that HH will win the elections?

  10. Jumusi says:

    What did Bushiri say? His prophesy has come to pass. Bravo Man of God.

  11. Jumusi says:

    What did Bushiri say? His prophesy has come to pass! Bravo Man of God!

  12. Jumusi says:

    People should not listen to this Lomwe called Ujeni. Lungu is from Chadiza in Zambia. He speaks Nsenga/ Nyanja. He is not Tumbuka.
    Zambians have moved away from tribalism which the Lomwes practice so dearly. Lungu himself has spoken against tribalism. Contrast this with Mutharika. He does not want to acknowledge that there is tribalism and regionalism in Malawi because he is at the centre of it.

    You can castigate Tumbukas that they are tribalists and proud. But the truth is that the Lomwes and Cewa are the worst tribalists. At least people from the north are intelligent and hard workers. They are just waiting for federal government to transform the north.

  13. NGODYA says:

    EEEEEYAAA paja atumbuka mumafuna mutalamulila!!!!!!!!!! welcome Mr. President

  14. dadaboma says:

    “Lungu comes from a minority Senga ethnic tribe” beating Hichilema from the majority Tonga tribe of the south, and warns “tribalism is a threat to national security and peace”. What difference is there between Malawi and Zambia?
    1.Malawi prides in tribalism. Statements like “singavotere Mtumbuka”, “Mtumbuka sangalamulire Malawi” are common insults peddled by non-northern Malawians.
    2. As a result of tribalism in Malawi, peace and national security is threatened. Calls for federalism and secession indicate that conflict is imminent in Malawi.
    3.As a result of tribalism, the thinking of Malawians is dazzled by hatred of some tribes and their eyes are blinded by their tribal negativity to extent that they fail to see who the correct leader to vote for is. So they vote for mediocrity, imbecility, and kleptomaniacs into the high office of president as long as it is someone from their region or tribe. Consequently, Malawi may never see a president that can turn the country around economically and move it out of the economic doldrums it has stagnated in for the past 50 years. As a result Malawi will remain poorer than Zambia and neighboring countries.
    4.Malawi is geographically longer than it is wide, thereby accentuating tribal and regional polarities. Zambia is oval and amenable to cross-fertilization of ideologies and biological procreation, resulting in blurring of tribal contrasts and inclinations. So what’s the solution for Malawi. Malawi is not geographically fit to stand as a united country. Malawi’s borders must be demolished, and its sections be annexed to neighboring countries of Zambia, TZ, and MOZ. Long live Zambia, my motherland.

  15. opportunist says:

    The ceremony was colourful and i really enjoyed the music which was performed by soldiers

  16. kalulu says:

    ndimasuleni abale.ena mukuti ndi mtumbuka,ena ayi ndi mchewa,timve ziti?ndamva ngati ati he is from nsenga tribe?kkkk.ndipo mukulimbana za mtundu y?hahahaha ndaonanso dzulo pa page ina yake wina atagundika kulalatira mitundu ina ya a malawi,ati ku zambia asankha mtundu wao.kkkkk wake up guys! Mudzazindikira too late kuti mwasanduka ‘boko haram’ kwawina ndi mzake.this is not a type of Malawi that we want.and kutukwana mitundu ina ya a malawi mukuzisambula nokha bcoz munthu wa khalidwe lotero amadzichotsera yekha ulemu.shame ndithu.VIVA MALAWI

  17. Muluzi Mtharika says:

    Malawi is a farm country, to develop you need a very good farm manager. Kamuzu tried to do so and almost succeeded.

  18. ZAMBIA, TANZANIA, MOZAMBIQUE, ZIMBABWE NDI MALAWI ONSE NDI A MODZI. MLUNGU DALISANI MAIKO ONSEYA NDI MUIKE PA MTENDERE, MUSALOLE AZUNGU ASOKONEZE MAIKO A MU AFRICA AYI +

  19. yowoyanganya says:

    Imwe wakuchindikika ba President Edgar Lungu, on an auspicious occasion like this why did u wear a blue suit? I will be more ready to be ur Vale!

  20. Jelbin mk says:

    The sadc organization has never ever called any election of any kind free and unfair even if the irregularities are apparent and serious so so to trust them on the role of observation is long overdue it is a useless and unfruitful other organisation which needs to disbanded before we experience a series of civil wars.

  21. NKakosyaga says:

    Bravo Edgar now you has arrived the destination to know pipo of Zmbia and entire Africa

  22. Atumbuka muzilamulira kuzambia komko osati kuno ku malawi ine apa mw simuzamulamula komko kuzambia ku zimbabwe ndi kenya basi malawi ayi ndati ayi ayi

    1. Nyago says:

      Cry the beloved country Malawi. We have a lot of problems in Malawi. Our fellow Malawians are suffering as a result of the floods and the only thing one can be thinking about is “A tumbuka simizalamulira. Its sad that there is a lot of hearted in Malawi. We have a lot of educated people but no development. Why God cannot bless us because there is no LOVE in Malawi

  23. Alufeyo says:

    Pepani ujeni lungu is Chewa from Petauke in Eastern Pronvince. Dont mislead people.

    1. mbwaxe says:

      U guyz are idiot!! Lungu is a zambian full stop!!!!! Not what you saying!!! Pa thako panu

  24. ujeni says:

    Lungu speaks Tumbuka, Bemba and Nyanja, he apparently comes from the minority Tumbuka speaking people while Hichilema comes from the majority speaking Tonga tribe found in thes whole Southern Province. Lungu has done an Obama, can Lungu win if he stood in Malawi? No!

  25. Patriot says:

    They all say that. And after some time things will start going sour.

  26. BBC says:

    Vinthu va politics vivuta maningi mwe. Bakachita molakwika bazakamba kuti anabatengera ma ballot paper. Ngati muziwa kuti ma ballot paper sayenda muche nanga imweyo vikanika pati kuchita ukawalala?

  27. BUGUDOSHI says:

    Sembe nizoziwa anyway vachitika nishenomba

  28. mbwaxe says:

    Zambia chabe!!!! Your neba malawi is in deep shit!!! Kuno ku malawi kuba too much!!!!

  29. ganimunthu says:

    Sadc observers He he he he he he he he he he. When will they ever say something different it’s like copy and paste in all countries that you have gone

  30. Ba Lungu bawina pa Z, nanga kuno vilepherekera pati? Wanga ndamanga kubwerera kwa amayi mailo. Ka ni ichi batitumbika maningi pa zedi!

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