President in Zambia for Lungu’s inauguration

Source: President in Zambia for Lungu’s inauguration | The Herald September 13, 2016

Tichaona Zindoga in LUSAKA, Zambia
President Mugabe arrived here yesterday to join other Heads of State and Government attending the inauguration of President-elect Edgar Chagwa Lungu today. President Lungu recently won elections against his main rival and long-term trialist Mr Hakainde Hichilema. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the Acting President. The President was received at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport by Zambia’s permanent secretary for Tourism Mr Stephen Mwanza and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador Cde Getrude Takawira, among other officials.

He was seen off at Harare International Airport by Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, State Security Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe, Harare Metropolitan Province Minister Cde Miriam Chikukwa, service chiefs and senior Government officials.

The Zambian election took place on August 11 and President Lungu, who leads the Patriotic Front, polled 50,35 percent against 47,63 percent for Mr Hichilema of the United Party for National Development.

Mr Hichilema and his running mate, Geoffrey Mwamba, mounted a court challenge to nullify the result, but the constitutional court last week threw out the bid, paving way for today’s ceremony.

President Lungu’s running mate, Vice President Inonge Wina, will also be sworn in as Vice President.

President Mugabe will join at least four leaders — Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Botswana’s Ian Khama and John Magufuli of Tanzania — among other dignitaries.

Deputy Prime Minister of Swaziland Paul Dlamini, Namibian Vice President Nickey Iyambo, Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto are also expected to attend.

Zambia is in a festive mood and yesterday was declared a half working day, while today is a public holiday.

Security will be high at the 50 000-seater National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka where thousands will throng, and alternative venues where people can follow the proceedings on large mounted TV screens, have also been designated, among others, at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in the Copperbelt, Nkoloma stadium in Chelstone area and the show grounds in Lusaka.

President Lungu first took office in 2015 after the death of President Michael Sata in October 2014.