Africa Cradle Correspondent, Lusaka Zambia: The Election Commission of Zambia (ECZ) continues to delay releasing the full official election results of the just ended watershed Zambian elections.
There has been unprecedented global interest on the hotly contested presidential elections.
Hakainde Hichilema an economist, and one of the richest Zambians is contesting to take over presidency from the incumbent, Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Lungu, of the Patriotic Front (P.F) party, who took over from Michael Sata after Sata’s death less than two years ago is a lawyer by profession.
He has demonstrated incompetence to steer the Zambian economy into prosperity as he promised a year and a half ago after winning a tightly contested race with Hichilema. His rule has seen an acute rise in inflation, rampant corruption, lack of transparency and plummeting copper prices. Zambia is the world’s second largest exporter of copper.
There been worries of Lungu taking some lessons from Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe. Soon after winning last year’s by-election, Lungu unoffically visited Zimbabwe, announcing to the media soon after that he had “learned a lot” from the Zimbabwean nonagenarian.
Lungu has failed to set the foundation for the diversification of the Zambian economy, something which the opposition has promised to do. Despite great agricultural and industrial capacity Zambia has been over reliant on copper.
It seems Zambians have since been disillusioned of Lungu’s inability to steer the economy into safer waters, let alone prosperity as witnessed from the massive voter turnout in this election.
At the moment Official results from the ECZ show Hichilema leading with more than 10 thousand votes after results from 42 out of a total 156 constituencies have been announced.
A Parallel Voter Tabulation show opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema taking a lead after 68 constituencies out of 156. Hichilema has picked huge margins from his traditional strongholds of Southern, Western and North Western provinces.
Hichilema lead incumbent Edgar Lungu by 48, 255, currently polling 884, 112 to President Lungu’s 835, 857.
These are unverified results. The Electoral Commission of Zambia has officially released results from 42 constituencies only, showing the Hichilema in the lead.
Zambia has experienced relatively peaceful elections ever since it embraced multi-party democracy in 1991 after founding President Kenneth Kaunda (KK) was defeated by the now late Frederick Chiluba.
It remains to be seen if the resource-rich southern African nation can continue trail blazing as one of Africa’s most stable democracies.