The Zambian outgoing President had since conceded defeat and expressed his commitment to facilitate a peaceful transfer of power.
"I want to thank you the Zambian people for giving me the opportunity to be your president. I will forever cherish and appreciate the authority you vested in me,” Mr. Lungu had been quoted as saying August 16 in a televised national address, and added, “All I ever wanted to do was to serve my country to the best of my abilities. Together with you, we did score in many areas.”
Based on the results announced by ECZ, Mr. Lungu continued, “I will comply with the constitutional provisions for peaceful transitions of power.”
’’I would therefore congratulate my brother the president-elect, his excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema for becoming the seventh republican president,” Zambia’s outgoing President said August 16.
In their collective statement, ZCCB members highlight the value of forgiveness among Zambians following the poll saying, “Christianity knows no other effective method than a permanent willingness to forgive and to be reconciled and not to retaliate; to forgive as many times as we can and without measure.”
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Forgiveness, they add, is also “to take the first step and meet one's neighbor in charity - even when it hurts. It means appreciating one another as persons created in the image and likeness of God and to consider each other as brothers and sisters rather than obstacles to be overcome.”
They go on to express their appreciation for the “professional role our Electoral Commission of Zambia and the men and women in uniform have played in the elections. Yes, there were some lapses here and there, but the overall picture is that of a professional job well done.”
“Our democracy is really maturing where we allow every Zambian to have a chance to participate in the governance of the country without fear and intimidation from anyone,” Catholic Bishops in Zambia further say.
They also express their gratitude to members of the international community “for being our neighbors who care and are ready to be in solidarity with us. We know you shared our anxieties, but we also know you are now sharing in our peace of mind that the elections have come and gone without a breakdown in peace.”
“To us all may God reign in our hearts, that we may be truly reconciled and live with one another in peace and harmony for the well-being of all of us who start our journey with a new government as a pilgrim people whose God is always there for us and with us,” ZCCB members say in their August 16 collective statement.