PF’s Edgar Lungu will be sworn in as Zambia’s 6th president today after a hotly contested presidential race that almost saw the ruling party almost losing power barely 3 years in office.
‘Vodka’ Lungu got 807925 (48.33%) while opposition Hakainde Hichilema received 780168 (46.67%) representing a 27,757 gap in an election where voter apathy, manipulation, were the really victors.
Lungu will now have to fulfill all his ‘me too’ election promises within roughly 15 months or about 14,640 hours before the next presidential and parliamentary general election where his performance will be judged on his own merit and not that of late president Michael Sata under whose campaign was based.
During campaigns, Lungu committed himself to enacting the constitution before the 2016 election according to his roadmap, reduce the cost of mealie meal and living conditions, lift the wage freeze, reverse the retirement age, put up milling plants in all provincial capitals, improve the water and sanitation issues.
The president faces challenges of slumping global copper prices on which Zambia depends, high inflation, budget deficit, limited borrowing capacity, high interest rates, depreciating Kwacha and other economic issues plus poor farming season owing to farmers not being paid and yet the country is literraly bankrupt.
The opposition UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema’s popularity surged from 17 percent in 2011 to 46 percent.