Thursday, 12 August 2021

ZAMBIA GOES TO THE POLLS


Zambians are voting in a tense election that the president and his main rival have said is a test of the southern African country’s reputation as a stable democracy.

Polling began at more than 12,000 polling stations, including in prisons. More than seven million people, or over 83% of eligible voters, have registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

President Edgar Lungu is counting winning votes on his record of infrastructure developments, mainly Chinese-funded, and the distribution of agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers to millions of farmers.

However, his chances could be hurt by a debilitating economic tailspin.  "I am hopeful that I will be the winner so that I hand over the instruments of power to myself," said President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu

Mr Lungu, who came to power in 2015 remains optimistic. “I am hopeful that I will be the winner so that I hand over the instruments of power to myself,” the 64-year old who practised law before joining politics said.

His main rival is 59-year old Hakainde Hichilema and this will be a sixth shot at the presidency in the country of 18 million people.


He touts his background as a businessman, saying he will be able to attract investment, better manage the stuttering economy and eradicate alleged corruption.

“The elections should result in a change of government,” he told reporters on the eve of the elections.

He is hoping that hardships brought by the sharp slide of the country’s once-growing economy will push Zambians to vote for change.

“Poverty is written everywhere. Everybody is hurting. Zambia is at a crossroads,” he said. Analysts say like previous contests between the two men in 2015 and 2016, this vote will be closely fought.

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