President Lazarus Chakwera yesterday hailed the peaceful transition and handover of power in Zambia as an indication that democracy is maturing on the continent.
The President, who was speaking in his capacity as chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) during the inauguration of former opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema as the seventh President of Zambia, also lauded former president Edgar Lungu for conceding defeat and paving the way for a peaceful transition of power.
He described Lungu’s gesture as one of the key principles that epitomise the values of African people.
Said Chakwera: “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.”
He was among several African heads of State who attended the inauguration at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka and congratulated Hichilema. The others included Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Hichilema won the August 12 general election with 2.8 million votes against Lungu’s 1.8 million.