President Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to accept defeat and hand over power peacefully when they lose elections as happened in Zambia.
This comes after Zambia’s outgoing president Edgar Lungu conceded defeat to opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema in the election that was held on 12 August.
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Speaking from Zambia on Monday ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Hichilemaand his deputy this Tuesday, Mnangagwa said:
This outcome and the peaceful transition, that will be completed today, is a lesson to SADC and Africa at large for losing contestants to accept electoral outcomes.
I grew up here and I am very proud that this is the seventh time that Zambia has changed Presidents and they have done it so smoothly.
I believe that the SADC region and also other African countries should take pride that we have countries on the continent whose transition of power after elections is happening smoothly. We are very proud.
Mnangagwa said he had a telephone conversation with Hichilema, while he was at his farm in Kwekwe on Sunday. He said:
The president-elect phoned me while I was at my farm in Kwekwe inviting me and we discussed so many issues in Tonga.
I realised we are related. In fact, his wife, Mutinta Hichilema and I grew up in the same town of Mumbwa, west of Lusaka
President-elect Hichilema will be inaugurated together with vice president-elect Mutale Nalumango.