By Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza – Aug 30, 2021
Avenues to appeal electoral outcomes through the Constitutional Court are available.
The swearing-in of Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), as Zambia’s new president has ushered an unstoppable wave of renewed hope not only in Zambia but throughout the rest of the continent as the country is being hailed for a smooth ‘democratic’ transition of power. And this new hope has exculpated any iota of political and socio-economic inertia that may have been perceived to be prevalent among Zambians during the calamitous neoliberal stint of outgoing president Edgar Lungu and others who preceded him (starting with Frederick Chiluba in 1991).
Electoral Euphoria in Zambia
The masses in Zambia, with the country’s young population at the forefront, valiantly mustered their political will to defend their electoral choices as Lungu was democratically ousted from power (a largely free and transparent election), which by all standards is excellently remarkable. Elections are sacrosanct and as such, the outcome of elections in what the arena of public opinion (locally and globally) deems fair must be respected. Elections are the only viable mechanism available to us to publicly determine on a large scale the will of the people regarding the trajectory of their political economy.
Avenues to appeal electoral outcomes through the Constitutional Court are available as is the norm in ‘democratic’ countries, but oftentimes such appeals are predicated on flimsy arguments. Or bitterness towards an electoral loss. Proximity to state power and resources is inherently fought for by elites across the globe and it is understandable for such political elites who lose elections to harbour feelings of bitterness. The electoral euphoria in Zambia is palpable and has been rightly radiated throughout all corners of the world. Albeit for a plethora of reasons.
The electoral triumph of Hakainde Hichilema (who won with a landslide victory – 2.8 million votes ahead of Edgar Lungu’s 1.8 million votes, with a voter turnout of 70.95%) has been signalled as a new era for Zambia, although it is clear Hichilema will strive to preserve the existing base and superstructure of official, bourgeois, liberal democracy. As dictated by the whims of [both local and foreign] private capital.