Wilson Chipangura, Guest Reporter
LONDON – Business magnate Strive Masiyiwa has been charmed by the unique political power transition in Zambia which has seen outgoing President Edgar Lungu accepting to handover power to President elect Hakainde Hichilema.
Lungu finally conceded defeat on Monday after a landslide election win by opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, who is set to become the southern African country’s 7th President.
With all but one of 156 constituencies counted, Hichilema won 2 810 777 votes against Lungu’s 1 814 201, and the electoral commission declared him the next president.
The situation impressed Zimbabwe-born entrepreneur Masiyiwa, currently based in the United Kingdom who said he will closely monitor the situation in Zambia and policies to be implemented by the incoming leader.
“Like most Africans, I had my eyes fixed this last week on following the Zambian elections,” said Masiyiwa.
He also took time to congratulate Hichilema for the victory and the people of Zambia for expressing their wishes in a mature way.
“First of all, I would like to extend my congratulations to now President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema, his supporters, and all the people of Zambia.
By any electoral precedence, this is a landslide victory rarely seen these days,” he said.
Masiyiwa, owner of Africa’s largest fibre company Liquid Intelligent Technologies, had kind words for the outgoing leader Edgar Lungu whom he said showed ‘African class’ by conceding defeat earlier on Monday.
“I would also like to commend outgoing President Edgar Lungu for the manner in which he conceded the election: As I told a friend in America, it was a bit of ‘African class’.
“As a company, we have invested in Zambia now for over 15 years, and we are there to stay for the long term. We will be watching closely for policy changes that could encourage us, and other investors to put more money in, and create more jobs,” the elated Masiyiwa said.
Meanwhile, the President elect Hichilema delivered a mouthwatering victory speech on Monday and pledged to do things differently for the benefit of Zambia.
He vowed to respect the rule of law, fight corruption, create jobs, grant press freedom and create space for a “one Zambia, one People” reality.