Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has announced that his party is poised for victory in the 12 August presidential and parliamentary elections.
He posted on Twitter this Friday saying change had arrived in the copper-producing Southern African country. Hichilema said:
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Good morning Zambia! Data coming in is very positive and the will of the people is clear. But be alert – when an outgoing regime panics, it can resort to desperate measures. So stay calm and focused. We will protect our vote with peace and love in our hearts. Change is HERE.
His remarks came shortly after President Edgar Chagwa Lungu had posted on the same platform saying the violence-rocked elections have not been free and fair in some parts of the country. Lungu said:
I received with shock and great sadness the report about the killing in cold blood of Jackson Kungo, who was my party’s chairman for North-Western Province, and a brother of provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chihili.
I’m also appalled by the amount of mayhem witnessed in North-Western, some parts of Westen, and Southern provinces. Clearly, the elections in these places have not been free and fair.
When people say elections were not free and fair, they usually accuse the ruling party, but look at what is happening in these places! Who is causing this mayhem? It is the opposition at the center of it.
The election is expected to be the tightest contest yet between the 64-year-old Lungu and his longstanding rival, and sixth-time-runner Hakainde Hichilema who is 59 years old.
In the 2016 election, Lungu emerged victorious with 50.35 per cent of the presidential ballots, just enough to avoid a second-round run-off, and Hichilema came a close second on 47.63 per cent.
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