Out of the 7 million registered voters in Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema secured 2,810,777 votes while incumbent Edgar Lungu was in second place with 1,814,201 votes.
In his opening address to the nation, Hichilema promised democratic reforms, investor-friendly economic policies, better debt management and “zero-tolerance” for corruption.
Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, saw its economy stagnate when copper prices collapsed around 2011.
Depressed commodity prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have further slowed any economic rebound.
“It is in no doubt what the instruction is to all of us,” he told supporters in Lusaka.
“We will not let you down,” he said.
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