Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday, 24 August, 2021 addressed Zambians and foreign dignitaries and Heads of State and Government at the inauguration of Zambia’s seventh President, Hakainde Hichilema, at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
President Chakwera, who became the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Chairperson in Lilongwe last week, spoke on behalf of SADC leaders and member states, congratulating Hichilema on assuming that country’s leadership, and the Zambians for freely exercising their democratic right to choose their new President. Zambians went to polls on 12 August, 2021. Hichilema beat his closest opponent and out-going President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with over 1 million votes.
Speaking at the fully-parked Heroes Stadium, the Malawi President said it was a great day “to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Zambian people, who have distinguished themselves as a bastion of democracy and a beacon of constitutionalism”.
“Make no mistake; what we are witnessing today is more than an inauguration. What we are witnessing here is no mere ceremony or ritual. Rather, it is history. This here is the triumph of the best virtues of the African spirit. This here is the coronation of the finest qualities of the African disposition. This here is the embodiment of the Africa we want because this here is the Africa we know ourselves to be,” said President Chakwera.
He said no longer should the watching world dare to define what Africa is, lest they misrepresent it yet again by majoring on minors or advancing the usual Afropessimism that amplifies negatives read out of context. The SADC Chair said this Zambian story is proof positive that Africa is not an infant to be babysat.
“This Zambian story is proof positive that Africa is not a free for all to be scrambled for, hoodwinked, and robbed by the mercenaries of Eastern and Western Greed.
This Zambian story is proof positive that Africa is not a charity case to be pitied.
“The world need not wonder what Africa is, because this Zambian story has put the truest answer on display for all the world to see. Africa is the spirit of unity finding expression here in the will of the Zambian electorate. Africa is the spirit of maturity finding expression here in the magnanimity of our brother Edgar Lungu. Africa is the spirit of integrity finding expression here in the credibility of Zambia’s electoral officials,” he said.
According to President Chakwera, Africa is the spirit of tenacity finding expression here in the fortitude of President Hichilema.
“Africa is the spirit of civility and generosity finding expression in this remarkably peaceful transfer of power from one President to another and one Party to another. Africa is the spirit of solidarity finding expression here in the presence of Africans from across the continent to celebrate with the Zambian people.
“All over the continent and the Diaspora, Africans are right to celebrate like they are all Zambians today. The symphony of African virtues the Zambian people have orchestrated in this story are a true representation of all of us,” said President Chakwera.
Those virtues, he noted, are worthy of the celebration of our hearts and the dancing of our feet.
“Those virtues have brought joy to homes at the foot of Table Mountain in South Africa; those virtues have brought joy to farmers on the banks of the Casamance River in Senegal; those virtues have brought joy to fishermen in their boats on the waters of Lake Mai-Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.
President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) spoke as Chairperson of the African Union.
British Minister for Africa Fames Duddridge, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland, and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also delivered their congratulatory speeches.
In his acceptance speech earlier, President Hichilema promised Zambians that change had arrive, and that his administration will not only focus on fixing the economy but growing it too.
The 59-year old new leader promised reforms in various sectors of the economy, including mining, energy, land, and tourism, thanking his predecessor for his service to the nation and for the smooth transfer of power.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :