Zambia

  1. Zambian president hailed for his 'lean' travel team

    Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema
    Image caption: Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema promised a change in governance

    Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema is earning some praise online for travelling with a “lean team” for the UN General Assembly in New York.

    Mr Hichilema travelled to the UN meeting on a commercial Qatar Airways flight from the main airport in Lusaka.

    He was accompanied by two ministers.

    “Just like we promised before taking office, we will ensure prudent management of public resources and have therefore travelled with a lean team that is composed of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance, Stanley Kakubo and Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane respectively,” he said in a statement before leaving.

    “This is a first in the region where [Zimbabwe’s President] Emmerson Mnangagwa and [Malawi’s Lazarus] Chakwera take planes packed with hangers on”, tweeted Zimbabwe journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.

    Another social media user wrote: "Africa is coming up: Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has left Zambia for the UN General Assembly, New York using a commercial flight".

    The Malawian president was in July criticised for taking his family members along on a UK trip but he said that they were needed for the event.

  2. Zambia parliament elects first female speaker

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Zambian lawyer Nelly Mutti has become the country's first female speaker of parliament - responsible for the orderly conduct of debate as well as disciplining lawmakers

    She was elected unopposed by the new set of MPs and will be deputised by Attracta Chisanga and Frank Moyo.

    The new President, Hakainde Hichilema, expressed his "hearty congratulations" in a post on Facebook.

    "You have a mammoth task ahead but I am confident that you are equal to the task." he added.

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  3. Video content

    Video caption: Zambian President Hichilema: Corruption at 'horrifying' levels

    Corruption is at "horrifying" levels, Hakainde Hichilema tells the BBC, a week after being sworn in.

  4. Zambia ex-president's Facebook account deactivated

    A defaced electoral poster of the incumbent Zambian President Edgar Lungu and running mate Nkandu Luo is seen on a highway in Lusaka, Zambia - 13 August, 2021
    Image caption: Some of Edgar Lungu's election posters were also defaced in the capital earlier this month

    The Facebook account of Zambia's former President Edgar Lungu has been deactivated.

    Zambians on Twitter blame cyber bullying, saying that people had been making mean comments on his page.

    Mr Lungu lost to his rival Hakainde Hichilemaa, of the United Party for National Development (UPND), in the presidential election earlier this month.

    The former head of state's Twitter account is still available with some comments on his religious posts mocking him.

    His Twitter account has fewer followers - around 167,000 compared to more than one million on Facebook.

    A youth leader in the new ruling party said it was sad to see that Mr Lungu had had to take down his Facebook page and he urged people not to attack the former president online.

    "Our differences with him were never personal but with the policies he pursued," UPND's Joseph Kalimbwe tweeted.

    "The public must shift from attacking him online and move with us towards the path of nation building!"

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  5. Zambian president replaces army and police chiefs

    resident elect Hakainde Hichilema
    Image caption: The president said the new security chiefs “must have the interest of the people"

    Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema has replaced the country’s top military commanders and the head of the police - and signalled a focus on the security forces being more accountable to the citizens.

    The president late on Sunday announced new commanders of the Zambian army, the air force and the national service and their deputies, as well as a new inspector general of police.

    All regional police commissioners have been relieved of their duties but their replacements have not been named.

    Mr Hichilema said the new office bearers “must have the interest of the people at heart and serve the country diligently while ensuring human rights, freedoms and liberties are respected”.

    He said the police must carry out proper checks before detaining suspects and that "no one should be arrested before investigations are concluded".

    Mr Hichilema, who was voted in as president earlier this month in a landslide victory, has been the victim of police brutality in the past.

    He has been arrested and detained multiple times in the past – and had promised to deal with the heavy-handedness of the security forces.

  6. Who's boss of Zambia's father-daughter racing duo?

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    Mailes Chulu and her father Geoffrey Chulu
    Image caption: Geoffrey Chulu (R) and his daughter Mailes (L) say they are friends first in the car

    A Zambian father-daughter duo will be racing this weekend - hoping to win their first motor rally together.

    Mailes Chulu, who is usually her dad’s co-driver, has told the BBC that they are switching roles this time round.

    She will take the wheel and Geoffrey Chulu will be her navigator during the Sarago Motors motor rally in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka.

    The pair first raced together in June, coming third.

    Mailes and her father Geoffrey Chulu holding silver cups
    Image caption: Mailesi, a civil engineer, and her Dad, an auto mechanic, first raced together in June

    “It was exciting to navigate my father because for once in life I was telling him what to do,” 25 year-old Mailesi, a civil engineer by profession, told the BBC.

    She says their relationship has also helped them on the track: “We have always been friends and also father and daughter but in the car we are just friends.“It feels like an honour to race with my Dad because it’s something that I have always watched him do.”

    Her father, who is an auto mechanic by training, says before Mailesi was born he had wanted a son to share his love of motorsports - but she didn’t let him down.

    “We always used to watch rallies together - she grew interested in motor sport,” he says.

    “Most of our times together, she has been a friend more than a daughter so we know each other well.

    “I have told her when we get into the rally car, she’s not my daughter but my navigator. This weekend, she will be the boss and I will be navigating her!”

  7. Slapdee - Zambia’s hip-hop survivor

    DJ Edu

    This Is Africa

    Slapdee
    Image caption: Slapdee says his tough start - his parents died in a car crash - helped fuel his music

    Slapdee is one of the pioneers of hip-hop in Zambia. He started out in 2006, and he’s managed to stay on top ever since.

    He says it’s all about staying in tune with the younger ones, the future fans.

    “Every other artist will focus on the people coming to their shows, but you need to also focus on the ones coming up under them, the ones that can’t get in.

    "They have more passion because they are dying to see you, and the day they turn 18 or are legally able to go to the clubs, you’re the first person they want to vibe to.”

    Slapdee has been willing to change his sound to appeal to his target audience, and doesn’t care too much about his critics.

    “Sometimes my own friends say: ' Yo, Slapdee, why are you making this childish music?'

    "And I’m like: 'Bro it’s business!'

    "You’ve got to know what you’re aiming for. For instance if you are targeting ninth graders now, it’ll take another three years to see the fruits.”

    Slapdee has children of his own now, but when he was the age of the kids he is wooing, life was very tough for him.

    Both of his parents died in a car crash when he was very young, and by the time he was 17 he was living independently in one of Lusaka’s roughest neighbourhoods.

    “I’ve done almost every street job there is in Lusaka, I’ve sold fritters, ice blocks, you name it.

    "I’ve done check your weight where you just walk around with a body scale, I’ve stolen stuff, I’ve done all the crazy stuff there is to do.

    “I used to ask God like: 'Why would you put me in this position?' I’d go into a corner and cry sometimes: 'Why me?'”

    But Slapdee didn’t allow despair or self-pity to swallow him up. He realised that he could turn his disadvantage into an asset.

    “That was all content. I think the universe was preparing me for greatness - not that I am the greatest!

    "My first three albums were basically about my hustles, and to date I think the influence I have is because of my story. It inspires people.”

    You can hear my conversation with Slapdee on This is Africa this Saturday on BBC World Service radio, partner stations across Africa and online.

  8. Zambia gets top economist as finance minister

    Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema has named Situmbeko Musokotwane, an experienced international economist, as finance minister.

    It will be his second stint in the role, having served in the finance ministry from 2008 until 2011 under President Rupiah Banda.

    Mr Hichilma, who was elected by a landslide earlier in August promising to fix the economy and create jobs, tweeted that the 65-year-old had a “a wealth of experience” which be valuable for his role:

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    Mr Musokotwane - a former deputy central bank governor who has also worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank - needs to tackle the country's $12bn (£8.7bn) external debt.

    "The answer is to talk to the people we owe money so that we can pay at a slower pace stretched over a longer period," Reuters news agency has quoted him as saying after his appointment.

    "Unless we do something to the budget, then the budget will be mainly for paying salaries and also servicing debt," he said.

  9. Zambia's president to begin appointing cabinet

    New Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has tweeted that he is starting to announce his cabinet - and the finance minister will be the first appointment:

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    Mr Hichilema won a landslide victory earlier this month, defeating incumbent President Edgar Lungu by more than a million votes.

    He has promised change for Zambians, saying the struggling economy will be revived.

  10. Zambia's new president will not live in State House - reports

    Kennedy Gondwe

    BBC News, Lusaka

    President Hakainde Hichilema's private residence
    Image caption: President Hakainde Hichilema's residence is called Community House

    Zambia’s new President Hakainde Hichilema will not move from his private residence to State House, reports the state-owned Zambia Daily Mail newspaper.

    This is despite his predecessor Edgar Lungu vacating the premises this week.

    The former president is now renting a house owned by China-based Zambian footballer Stopilla Sunzu, according to local media reports.

    The secretary general of Mr Hichilema's party, Batuke Imenda, is quoted as saying that while the new head of state will work at State House, he'll carry on living at his private residence, which is called Community House.

    “Just like he said before he was sworn in, our president will continue living at his house in New Kasama. He is more comfortable at Community House. When you compare the two places, his house is better,” Mr Imenda said according to the Zambia Daily Mail.

    The announcement that Mr Hichilema will not occupy State House comes after Mr Lungu, who was defeated by over a million votes in the 12 August elections, tweeted a farewell message saying that he carries "great memories" of the time he spent at State House:

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  11. No Zambian should go to bed hungry - Hichilema

    President Hakainde Hichilema

    In his inauguration speech, President Hakainde Hichilema promised Zambians that change had arrived.

    The newly inaugurated leader, who won a landslide victory against the incumbent Edgar Lungu in elections earlier this month, said the future would not be without challenges but he added the economy would be revived.

    It was not just a question of fixing the economy - but growing it too, and he called for the private sector to play a role.

    It was important to seek and make investments locally and regionally before looking to Europe and beyond, he said.

    He promised Zambians three decent meals a day: “No Zambian should go to bed hungry.”

    His administration would look at reforms to the mining, energy, land and tourism sectors, he said.

    The 59-year-old also thanked his predecessor for his service and for the smooth transition to his administration.

    This was the country’s third peaceful and democratic transfer of leadership over the last three decades, something that was of great credit to Zambia, Mr Hichilema said.

    “Democracy is the way to go - for Zambia, the people of Africa and the world.”

    He underlined that the new government would have “zero tolerance” towards corruption, it would be a hallmark of the administration - and it would not be a question of retribution.

    The cabinet would be representative of the whole country - and all regions would have an equal share of development, he said.

    The media too could feel the new dawn as they would be able to operate freely, the new president added.

    Setting out his administration’s commitment to educating the young, he said: “Education is the best investment in any child, I’m an example of that.”

    Calling for unity, he reiterated the slogan of Zambia’s founding father Kenneth Kaunda, who died in June aged 97: “One Zambia, one nation.”

    Afterwards, President Hichilema released hundreds of balloons into the sky over Heroes Stadium - a change from last inauguration when doves were used and proved problematic when they refused to fly off.

    President Hakainde Hichilema releasing balloons
    Balloons at inauguration ceremony in Zambia
  12. Zambian armed forces salute the new president

    Guard of honour

    President Hakainde Hichilema is inspecting a guard of honour as commander in chief of Zambia’s armed forces, following a gun salute and fly-past.

    President Hakainde Hichilema

    Moments earlier, Mutale Nalumango was sworn-in as his deputy - making her Zambia’s second woman vice-president.

    Mutale Nalumango
  13. Zambia's Hakainde Hichilema takes oath of office

    Hakainde Hichilema has taken his oath of office as Zambia’s president in front of cheering crowds at Heroes Stadium in the capital, Lusaka:

    Hakainde Hichilema holding a Bible
  14. Zambia's president-elect 'overwhelmed with gratitude'

    Prayer at Heroes Stadium, Lusaka, Zambia
    Image caption: The master of ceremonies gets proceedings under way with an opening prayer

    The stage is set for the inauguration of Zambia's new president - all the dignitaries are now seated.

    Hakainde Hichilema has arrived to cheers, his predecessor, President Edgar Lungu, to low-level boos.

    On his way to the stadium President-elect Hichilema tweeted: "As I sit here in our vehicle being driven to Heroes Stadium, I see the love, the joy and the jubilation as people line the streets on our way. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you all so much!"

  15. Thunderous cheers for Zambia's president-elect

    Hakainde Hichilema

    Zambia’s President-elect Hakainde Hichilema has been greeted by thunderous cheers as he entered Heroes Stadium in the capital, Lusaka, for his inauguration.

    The ceremony is being attended by several heads of state as well as leaders of opposition parties from across the African continent.

    Crowds at Heroes Stadium, Lusaka, Zambia
    Image caption: Tens of thousands of people have gathered at a stadium to see Hakainde Hichilema inaugurated as Zambia's seventh president

    The 59-year-old, a veteran opposition leader, won the elections by a landslide last week.

    The BBC’s Nomsa Maseko says he faces high expectations from his people including jobs for the youth, eradicating government corruption and improving the economy.

  16. Huge crowds as Zambia inauguration gets under way

    Huge crowds have gathered in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, for the inauguration of Hakainde Hichilema as the country's new president.

    People started gathering on Monday - many who had travelled from outside the capital slept at the stadium where the ceremony will take place, says the BBC’s Kennedy Gondwe.

    Photos on Twitter show the crowds at Heroes Stadium four hours before the event - which is just getting under way:

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    Mr Hichilema has posted a prayer on Facebook asking for but humility, wisdom and knowledge.

    He asked that he and other government officials "treat the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the widow and the orphans, the educated, and the uneducated, our political opponents and the comrades, with dignity, fairness and love".

    His predecessor Edgar Lungu also posted a prayer on Facebook as the country entered "a new chapter politically", asking that they "remain a blessed and peaceful nation".

  17. African leaders in Zambia for Hichilema's inauguration

    Several African presidents are heading to Zambia to attend the inauguration of the President-elect Hakainde Hichilema.

    The ceremony will be held at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka.

    Tanzania's Samia Suluhu left Dar es Salaam on Tuesday morning;

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    South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa has also left for Lusaka;

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    Botswana's Mokgweetsi Masisi arrived in Lusaka on Monday and had various engagements including a meeting with Batswana living there;

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    Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa is already in Lusaka for the inauguration.

    Other delegations have been sent to represent different heads of state in the ceremony.