Since 2006 Hakainde Hichilema has tried to win the elections for president in Zambia, but only now has he been awarded success. His perseverance was commendable, considering the hardship his rivalry with beaten ex-President Edward Lungu brought on him over the years, culminating in his arrest in 2017.
The new presidency also marks the third time the country’s leadership is changing over to the opposition, the third time also peacefully, which pretty much is a first for the African continent. The United Party for National Development (UPND) has a big task ahead in restructuring and reviving the economy, a task that the world sees now in good hands as the immediate strengthening of the Kwacha towards the US Dollar shows.
The first step will be the debt restructuring with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was on hold until after the elections as there was no trust in the previous regime under Lungu. Then calming down the general economic turmoil prevailing at the moment and that had also contributed to the default on international debt repayments in November 2020.
We congratulate President Hichilema, who has once more proven that perseverance is key and that one can come into power by legally winning against a long-term nepotistic and corrupt government. South Africa: Pay Attention!