By Musonda Chibamba
Lusaka, Aug 24 (EFE).- Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema on Tuesday took his oath of office as the seventh president of the landlocked southern African country.
The 59-year-old veteran politician defeated outgoing president Edgar Lungu by more than a million votes in the elections held earlier this month.
The inauguration ceremony took place at Lusaka’s National Heroes Stadium, which was packed with supporters of the leader of the United Party of National Development (UPND).
“We will grow our economy so we can lift more people out of poverty than ever before,” Hichilema said in his first speech as president.
“We will promote unity in diversity and ensure respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms for all.
“We will restore the rule of law, general order in our public places and communities, and return our country back to normalcy.”
Among the African heads of state who attended the ceremony were Zimbabwe’s Emerson Mnangagwa, Bostwana’s Moweetsi Masisi, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi, Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu, and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta.
Hichilema, who first tried for the copper-rich nation’s presidency 15 years ago, will have to manage a massive economic crisis the country is currently going through, as well as a high rate of unemployment among the youth.EFE