Rustenburg, (The Southern African Times) – Zambia declared Today, the day of inauguration of Hakainde Hichilema as new president, a public holiday, local media reported.
Outgoing President Edgar Lungu made the declaration for the day, which will see Mutale Nalumpangpo also be sworn in as vice president, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation said.
President-elect Hichilema won the recent Zambian presidential election, beating former President Edgar Lungu by almost one million votes.
He garnered 2 810 757 votes, while Mr Lungu trailed with 1 814 201 and conceded defeat, committing to hand over power peacefully.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi arrived to in Zambia on Monday to attend the inauguration, the ministry of international affairs and cooperation said in a statement.
It said Masisi would was accompanied by former Botswana president Festus Mogae, International Affairs and Cooperation Minister Lemogang Kwape, leader of the opposition Dumelang Saleshando and senior government officials.
Media in Malawi said President Lazarus Chakwera would also attend the inauguration. Online news outlet Malawi24 reported that the ministry of foreign affairs was expected to release details of the trip later on Monday.
Zimbabwe’s Deputy Chief Secretary – Presidential Communications, in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr George Charamba, said President Mnangagwa had warmly accepted President-elect Hichilema’s invitation to his inauguration today in Lusaka in the spirit of SADC collegiality.
Hichilema, who leads the United Party for National Development, will be sworn-in at the Heroes Stadium in the capital Lusaka.
He won the August 12 presidential election resoundingly, garnering nearly a million more votes than Lungu of the Patriotic Front.
Going to the general election, Hichilema said he was expecting at least 4.7 million people to vote for him while Lungu expected to win by a margin of at least 500 000 votes.
Opposition parties in southern Africa have lauded Hichilema’s victory as inspiring.