Zambia: Hichilema’s first 100 days, a clash of expectations and reality

By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Posted on Thursday, 9 December 2021 19:14

Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema
Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS

After six unsuccessful attempts to become Zambia’s president, wealthy businessman, Hakainde Hichilema, won the 12 August general elections to become the seventh president. He came to power on the promise of restoring the rule of law and order, creating an inclusive government and resuscitating the ailing Zambian economy shackled by huge public debt. After his first 100 days, how has he done?

Hichilema’s United Party for National Development (UPND) swept to victory after 23 years in opposition thanks to growing resentment of the former ruling Patriotic Front (PF) by ordinary Zambians who wanted “change.”

The people wanted change

His populist elections campaign promises resonated very well with most Zambians, especially the youth desperate for jobs. This ultimately catalysed Lungu’s fall.

“If we have to give a benefit of doubt, I would say 9 out 10,” says Vice-President Mutale Nalumango in her reflection of the first 100 days of the UPND in office.