The MDC Alliance says it taking notes from the recently held elections in Zambia in which opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema of United Party National Development (UPND) defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu.
This August election was Hichilema’s sixth attempt at winning the presidency while the MDC has been trying to wrestle power from the ruling Zanu PF since 2000.
Hichilema secured 2,810,777 votes while Lungu was in second place with 1,814,201 votes, out of seven million registered voters.
MDC Alliance Secretary for International Relations, Glady Hlatywayo described Zambia’s election victory as a triumph for democracy.
The MDC Alliance official praised how Zambians engaged in an orderly and democratic electoral process, which they wished could take place locally in Zimbabwe.
“This was characterised by a high voter turnout and the respect of the will of people in line with the Constitution of Zambia, regional and international norms and practices,” Hlatywayo said.
“Zambians have yet again demonstrated that they are a beacon of democracy with a rich heritage of peaceful transfer of power since 1991 when Zambia’s first President, His Excellency the late President Kenneth Kaunda, graciously vacated the seat of power following an electoral defeat.”
Hlatywayo added that their wish, as was everyone’s else, was to see a smooth handover of power in Zambia.
“To this end, we urge outgoing President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to concede defeat and allow for a smooth transfer of power. We also congratulate Zambia’s state institutions for protecting the will of the people and upholding the rule of law,” said the Secretary for International Relations.
“We appeal to all countries in the region, especially Zimbabwe, to learn from the Zambian experience. In particular, we call for state institutions to serve the Constitution and not partisan interests.”
She said it was also imperative to respect the will of the people rather than subvert it.
“Democracy must prevail in the SADC region!” said the MDC Alliance official.
“We wish the new administration in Zambia a fruitful tenure characterised by respect for the values of democracy, prosperity and uplifting the lives of the people of Zambia.”
Meanwhile, in a televised address Lungu conceded defeat and he will “comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transfer of power.”