A colourful ceremony characterised the inauguration of Zambia’s Sixth Republican President Edgar Lungu at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
President-elect Lungu 58,who was clad in a blue suit, white shirt and red tie was accompanied by his wife Esther amid tight security, arrived at the stadium around 10:20 hours to a thunderous welcome.
Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda swore-in Mr. Lungu around 10:30 hours as the country’s Sixth Head of State.
Former Acting president Guy Scott handed-over the instruments of power that included the Zambian flag, the Coat of Arms and the Republican Constitution to President Lungu.
Traditional and cultural dances, acrobatics and choral performances at the 50,000 seater stadium which was filled to capacity also gave colour to the ceremony.
A 21-gun presidential salute, a fly-past conducted by the Zambia Air Force and songs by a combined defence choir entertained the crowd.
Mr. Lungu promised to deliver a people driven constitution to stand a test of time in his administration.
Mr. Lungu, who was Justice and Defence Minister untill his election yesterday, defeated opposition United Party for National Development (UPND)leader Hakainde Hichilema by a 48.3 percent to 46.7 percent margin.
President Lungu’s biggest challenge is to turn around Zambia’s economy that’s slowing because of a slump in the price of copper, which accounts for more than two-thirds of export earnings.
President Lungu must also solve a standoff with the mining industry over a tax system introduced this month that may lead to 12,000 job losses this year alone, according to an industry lobby group.
The swearing in ceremony was witnessed by former acting president Guy Scott and his wife Charlotte, SADC Chairperson and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, visiting senior government officials, National Assembly Speaker Patrick Matibini, Cabinet ministers, diplomats accredited to Zambia, Defence Chiefs, First Republican president Kenneth Kaunda and former President Rupiah Banda.
Others were veteran politicians Grey Zulu, Mama Chibesa Kankasa, traditional leaders, former first ladies Christine Kaseba and Vera Chiluba.
Others were opposition MMD leader Nevers Mumba and his Agenda for a Better Zambia counterpart Frank Bwalya, UPND campaign Manager Dipak Patel, 4th Revolution party president Erick Chanda , PF members, senior government officials and members of the public.