Edgar Lungu has been sworn in Tuesday as the 6th President of Zambia. Zambia has been lauded as a democratic nation regardless of political disputes that marred the elections.
President Edgar Lungu took oath of office before the chief justice. Vice President-Elect Inonge Wina also took oath of office before Chief Justice Mambilima.
Botswana President Khama, Zimbabwe President Mugabe, Vice Presidents from Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania were among foreign dignitaries.
Reports on social media say that the 60 000 capacity Heroes Stadium in Lusaka was full, as Zambians witnessed Lungu’s inauguration. A lot of people were reported to be outside the Heroes stadium, trying to force their way inside.
Inauguration speech in short
Lungu: “I won’t let you down, even those who did not vote for me. I will be a servant of the people. Even those who didn’t vote for me, I won’t let you down. We must lead from the front. I am a product of sacrifice. Zambia belongs to all of us who live and work in it. I will leave Zambia a better place than I found it.
“We shall pursue nuclear technology. I’ve good news: exploration for oil and gas is going on in the north. Thank you to the heads of state and government for taking their to time to come and support us. I’ll appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate post-election violence. We need to learn lessons. What unites us is far greater than that seeks to divide us.”
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe spoke on behalf of other Heads of State present.
He said: “President Lungu’s victory is the people’s victory. Elections were free and fair as confirmed by international observers. Zambia demonstrate democracy. Democratic states don’t tolerate organisations which are violent, organisations which want to get to power through violence. Zambia and Zimbabwe have always been ‘Siamese twins.’ Kaunda gave us refuge during liberation struggle. Democratic order is meaningless, unless associated socio-economic opportunities. One Zambia! One Nation!”
Lungu closed the ceremony by inspecting a guard of honour mounted for him.
Who is Edgar Lungu?
Lungu was born on November 11, 1956 in Ndola. He grew up in Chimwemwe township in Kitwe and went to Mukuba Secondary School. He is married to Esther Lungu and is a father of six and grandfather.
Career and education
Lungu trained as a military officer at Military Training Establishment of Zambia (MILTEZ) in Kabwe. He also has a journalism qualification. He obtained a Law Degree from the University of Zambia in 1981. Worked for Ministry of Justice, Barclays Bank, ZCCM and Andre Masiye and Co. He and fellow Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota represented families of Gabon crash victims for free & got them K16 billion compensation 11 years after.
Lungu entered politics first joining opposition UPND under late Anderson Mazoka and moving to then newly formed PF under Michael Sata. When PF formed government in the same 2011, Lungu was appointed Deputy Minister in the Vice President’s office. He was promoted to Minister of Home Affairs, the first of 3 cabinet positions (two simultaneously) he would hold before becoming president. He was appointed Defence Minister in 2013 and Justice Minister in 2014, and served simultaneously. He was also appointed PF Secretary General. Lungu also served as chairman of the PF disciplinary committee.
In Michael Sata’s absence, Lungu was sometimes appointed acting president and this was the case when President Sata died in London in October 2014. Succession wrangles ensued in the PF in the wake of Sata’s death with several contenders, including Lungu, coming forward. Lungu emerged PF party president and candidate in the January 2015 presidential by-election. He won and became Zambia’s sixth president.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro