Zambia's Lungu concedes defeat to challenger Hichilema

The 64-year-old, who came to power in 2015, said that when he had to serve out the term of his predecessor Michael Sata who died in office, that victory had been "unexpected" and he "accepted it with humility and gratitude".

FILE: Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Picture: AFP

LUSAKA - Zambia's outgoing leader Edgar Lungu on Monday conceded defeat and congratulated his successor and longtime rival Hakainde Hichilema, who scored a landslide victory in a bitterly contested presidential election.

"I would therefore like to congratulate my brother... Hichilema for becoming the seventh republican president," he said in a radio address.

Lungu promised to comply with the "constitutional provision for a peaceful transition of power".

The 64-year-old, who came to power in 2015, said that when he had to serve out the term of his predecessor Michael Sata who died in office, that victory had been "unexpected" and he "accepted it with humility and gratitude".

"I want to thank you Zambian people, for giving me a great opportunity to be your president. I will forever cherish and appreciate the authority you invested in me."

"All I wanted to do was to serve my country to the best of my abilities," he said, admitting that there are "challenges on the way".

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