The Electoral Commission of Zambia has released on Monday 16th August 2021 the results of the presidential elections, confirming that Hakainde HICHILEMA from the United Party for National Development (UPND) has won the majority of the votes.
He earned 2,810,757 votes representing 58% of the valid votes cast (4,858,193). Outgoing President Edgar LUNGU earned 1,814,201 votes and eventually admitted defeat after initially claiming that the elections were not free and fair.
Who is Hakainde HICHILEMA?
Hakainde Hichilema was born in a village in the Monze District in southern Zambia on 4th June 1962.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration at the University of Zambia in 1986 and thereafter pursued an MBA in Finance and Business Strategy at the University of Birmingham in the UK.
He served as the CEO of consulting firms Coopers and Lybrand Zambia (1994–1998) and Grant Thornton Zambia (1998–2006) and he is a large cattle rancher in Zambia. He is married and has three children, and is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
He has led the UPND Party since 2006 and contested five previous elections in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2016.
On 11th April 2017, he was arrested and charged with treason after he was accused of endangering President Edgar LUNGU’s life after his motorcade allegedly refused to give way to the one transporting President Lungu. Hichilema strongly denied the charge. Hichilema’s arrest was widely condemned by the United States and the European Union. He was eventually released from prison four months later on 16 August 2017 after the state prosecutor dropped treason charges against him.
According to the manifesto of the UPND party, the overall objective is to make the Zambian economy work efficiently and competitively to lift the living standards of the people sustainably.
To this end, the UPND will:
a. Develop a mixed economy based on production, efficiency, social justice and the eradication of poverty.
b. Institute measures to attain macroeconomic stability (i.e., low inflation, stable interest rates, high growth, fiscal discipline) and prioritize areas of national development.
c. Build a national coalition and consensus in economic planning and implementation through a Consultative Economic Advisory Forum of Business, Labour, Government, and the Civil Society.
d. Encourage private and public sector economic programs that improve people’s wellbeing.
e. Devise a national program for innovation that will unleash the talents and creativity of Zambians, including the youth and women.
f. Set into motion a process of economic transformation and the diversification of the economic base through maximum utilization of local endowments and the promotion of value addition, particularly in industry, agriculture,
tourism, small-scale mining and manufacturing.
g. Prioritise job creation through high growth, prioritization of jobs-rich sectors and targeted interventions, particularly for the youth and women.
h. Reduce socio-economic disparities among regions to create a foundation for sustainable development by harnessing our resources.
i. Encourage local investors to go into manufacturing through the establishment of a citizen credit institution.
The UPND administration will place a high priority on establishing a stable and predictable policy environment that will promote private investment, protection of private property, growth and job creation. Attention shall be placed on attaining and preserving prudent macroeconomic management, characterized by public-private consultation, policy consistency, fiscal prudence, and investment promotion.
Deliberate efforts shall be made to lower the cost of doing business, including those relating to regulatory compliance, public sector bureaucracy, energy, transportation, trade logistics and credit.