Zambia’s six-time opposition challenger Hakainde Hichilema finally wins
Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has secured a stunning landslide victory in Zambia’s presidential election, defeating incumbent Edgar Lungu by nearly a million votes.
Following are five facts about Zambia’s new president-elect:
Hichilema, 59, was born in Monze district in southern Zambia and casts himself as a self-made man who walked to school barefoot as a child and attended the University of Zambia on a government bursary. He later studied business and finance at the Britain’s University of Birmingham.
He has in the past served as the head of the Zambian operations of professional services firms Coopers and Lybrand – later part of PricewaterhouseCoopers – and Grant Thornton. His portfolio of businesses includes property management, cattle ranching and financial consultancy.
A member of the United Party for National Development, he first ran for president in 2006 and only narrowly lost to Lungu in contested elections in 2015 and 2016. He finally won Zambia’s top job on his sixth attempt.
Hichilema was charged with treason and jailed for four months in 2017 after his motorcade allegedly refused to give way to President Lungu’s.
An active member in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Hichilema is married with three children. He has a farm in Zambia’s Southern Province and owns one of the country’s largest cattle herds.