Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera took advantage of the inauguration of Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema to remind the West and East that Africa is no longer an infant continent to be baby-sat.
Chakwera said Hichilema’s triumph in the General Elections held on 12 August 2021 and his subsequent inauguration as Zambia’s seventh President is a 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.
He made the remarks at the inauguration of Hichilema at a ceremony that took place in Lusaka, Zambia, this afternoon.
“This Zambian story is proof positive that Africa is not a charity case to be pitied. 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 Afro-pessimism that amplifies negatives read out of context. This Zambian story is proof positive that Africa is not an infant to be babysat,” he said.
Apart from Chakwera, the ceremony was attended by leaders such as Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The Malawi leader said world should stop wondering what Africa is because the Zambian story has put the truest answer on display for all the world to see.
Chakwera emphasized that Africa is the spirit of unity finding expression 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. Africa is the spirit of tenacity finding expression here in the fortitude of President-Elect Hakainde 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,” he narrated.
“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. Those virtues 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. Wherever there is an African today, there is celebration and joy there, and all of us have you, the Zambian people, to thank,” added Chakwera.
Hichilema has been sworn into office after pulling off a stunning rare victory for an African opposition leader.
Zambia’s second female Vice President Mutale Nalumango was also sworn in during the ceremony.
Hichilema defeated outgoing President Edgar Lungu in a landslide by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia.
CNN described the victory as a stunning turnaround for the politician known as HH – Hichilema spent several months in prison in 2017 for what were widely seen as politically motivated treason charges.
The charges were dropped under intense international pressure.
After initially indicating he may challenge the result, Lungu addressed the nation following the elections, saying: “Based on the revelations issued at final results, I will comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transition of power.
Despite conceding defeat early, Lungu was booed by some of the crowd as he made his way to the stage at the packed Heroes stadium in the capital Lusaka to hand over power.
Hichilema called Tuesday “a new dawn in Zambia,” in a tweet ahead of the ceremony. “As I sit here in our vehicle being driven to Heroes Stadium, I see the love, the joy and the jubilation as people line the streets on our way. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you all so much,” he added.
Opposition leaders from other African countries were also invited to the event.
Nelson Chamisa, opposition leader in Zimbabwe, told CNN: “This is a significant and fantastic for what is possible for the future of Africa. Zambia is an inspiration to stubborn laggards in democracy. Strong institutions are key for effective power transfer and smooth transitions,” he said in a statement when asked about the significance of today’s inauguration.
Chamisa added that Zambia is an excellent example to be emulated on the continent.
“Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular needs leaders not rulers, strong institutions – not strong men. Leaders must lead and leave, serve and go. Zimbabwe must be free and Democratic. Freedom can be delayed but never denied,” he said when asked what the message for Zimbabwe is.
It is the third time that power has shifted peacefully from a ruling party to the opposition since the southern African country’s independence from Britain in 1964.
There was a huge turnout of mostly young people, some who came dressed in their academic robes to protest lack of employment post graduation.
Joseph Kalimbwe, a youth representative of Hichilema’s UPND party told CNN.
“Young people gave us the vote. Four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote. It was a huge turnout and it was very personal to them. They want to ensure the mistakes of their parents were corrected. They have voted for our leader on basis he has better policies and ideas and can strengthen our state institutions.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :