THE outgoing Republican President Edgar Chagwa Lungu will be handing over the instruments of power to Hakainde Hichilema, the President-elect tomorrow, August 24, 2021.
The day has since been declared a public holiday by President Lungu to allow people follow the smooth handover of power through different media platforms such as television, radio and Facebook, among others. President Lungu accepted defeat following the outcome of the August 12 general election in which Mr Hichilema emerged victorious.
The outgoing President categorically stated that he had no intentions of petitioning the election results amid pressure from President Edgar Lungu is a true statesman some members of the Patriotic Front (PF) persuading him to take that route. President Lungu also stated that he didn’t want to cause tension in the country. All that he wanted was peace to prevail before, during and after the general election.
What President Lungu demonstrated by accepting the electoral defeat and paving way for the smooth hand over of power to the incoming President is very rare in modern democracies. Globally, there have been some scenarios where the losing presidential candidates refuse to accept the electoral defeat. The losing presidential candidates allege that the elections were not free and fair despite that not being the case. This is not good for democracy.
As the adage goes, “leadership must change hands,” there is therefore need for the losing presidential candidates to accept the electoral defeat provided the elections were conducted in a fair, free and credible manner. One notable thing is that the power to change the reigning government is vested in the people.
When people decide to vote for their preferred presidential candidate, there is nothing that can stop the wind of change per se. Moreover, there is no loser in any democratic state. The losers and the winners are the stakeholders in the governance system of the country because they have a role to play. All said and done, President Lungu played his part in governing this country from 2015 to 2021.
The outgoing President is a true statesman by accepting the electoral defeat and paving the way for a peaceful and smooth transition of power. As patriotic Zambians, we should pray for President Lungu and wish him well in his future endeavours. ELEMIYA PHIRI, Lusaka