Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday took the oath of office after winning the 11 August presidential election and the nation’s top court rejected an opposition petition to block his inauguration.
Lungu was sworn in at a packed stadium ceremony that included a 21-gun salute and traditional dancers in attended by regional leaders including Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Ian Khama of Botswana.
“We have a great task ahead of us. We need to work as one Zambia, one nation,” Lungu said.
He had averted a runoff election by winning just over 50 percent of the votes, but the opposition under challenger Hakainde Hichilema alleged there were polling irregularities and went to court.
Zambia’s record of peaceful transitions of power had been held up as a democratic model in Africa, but the recent campaign was marred by street clashes.
President Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe since the end of white minority rule in 1980 described Lungu’s victory as “a reflection of the will of the people.”