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Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema sworn in as President in rare victory for an African opposition leader

On Tuesday morning, Zambia’s newly-elected president Hakainde Hichilema was sworn into office after a stunning victory for the opposition leader. The ceremony was attended by other African leaders such as Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the leader of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera. Mutale Nalumango, Zambia’s second female Vice President, was also sworn in. Hichilema defeated former President Edgar Lungu in a landslide victory by almost one million votes. The election marked the sixth time Mr. Hichilema attempted to become president.

The inauguration marks a huge turnaround for the politician, who spent several months in prison in 2017 on widely politically motivated treason charges. The charges were eventually dropped due to intense international pressure. Lungu indicated that he may challenge the result of the elections, yet later changed his mind and agreed to a peaceful transition of power. Hichilema called Tuesday a “new dawn in Zambia” amid celebrations.

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