World Bulletin / News Desk
Edgar Lungu on Sunday took the oath of office as Zambia's sixth president since independence in 1964 after being declared the winner of last week's highly-contested presidential polls.
He was sworn in by Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda at a colorful ceremony at Heroes Stadium in capital Lusaka.
Lungu, 58, also received the instrument of power from acting President Guy Scot for.
"In every election, there is always one winner. It just happened that, this time, I was the one whom the people of Zambia chose to administer the affairs of this great nation called Zambia," he told the large gathering that attended his inauguration.
"Let us all bury the differences and forge ahead on to develop the nation," said Lungu, who was serving as justice and defense minister.
The 45,000-capacity stadium was filled to the full capacity by people from all walks of life who came to witness the inauguration of the new president.
People were seen dancing in jubilation and troupes from across the country entertained the invited guests.
The ruling Patriotic Front (PF)'s candidate won a total of 809, 925 votes or 48.33 percent against 780,168 votes or 46.46 percent for his rival Hakainde Hichilema of the opposition United Party for National Development.
Zambians went to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new president following the death late last year of President Michael Sata in London.
Eleven presidential hopefuls, including Lungu and Hichilema, contested the race.
Lungu thanked all the presidential contenders.
"Without your participation, I could not have won this race. My wish and prayer is that we work together to develop this great nation Zambia to the satisfaction of our people," he said.
Hours before the announcement, Hichilema insisted that the election had been "stolen" from him and that he would not concede defeat.
"Lungu is not an illegitimate President of this republic of Zambia," he told a press conference.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by foreign dignitaries, including Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe and the current chairof the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC).
He urged the people of Zambia to unit under the leadership of President Lungu.
"My prayer is that the people of Zambia continue living in peace for the next fifty years," Mugabe said. "It is only through peace that Zambia will see the meaningful development the people have longed for a very long time."
Mugabe said SADC was proud of Zambia's growing maturity in democracy and wished all presidential candidates who lost the contest would be supportive of the elected president.
"Defeat is not the end of everything. Get your pieces together and begin to plan for the next election which will take place in 2016," he added.
"But don't forget to maintain the much desired peace Zambia has had in the last fifty years and beyond," added the Zimbabwean leader.Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2015, 13:02