SECRETARY to the Cabinet Dr Simon Miti says the country has received confirmation on the presence of Heads of State and governments from Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and the Kingdom of Eswatini at the inauguration ceremony.
In a statement, Monday, Dr Miti also said Angola would be represented at the level of Vice-President, while Ethiopia and Rwanda would be represented at the level of a Speaker.
He said former Heads of State of Botswana, Tanzania and Nigeria would also attend the ceremony.
“In recognition of Zambia’s stature on the international stage and its conduct of foreign relations, the country has received the confirmed presence at the highest level of the Heads of State and Government from the Republics of Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, United Republic of Tanzania and the Kingdom of Eswatini. The Republic of Angola will be represented at the level of Vice President while the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Rwanda will send representation at the level of Speaker. The former Heads of State of the Republics of Botswana, Tanzania and Nigeria as well as the former Prime Minister of Kenya will attend the ceremony,” read the statement.
“Following the general elections of 12th August, 2021, the Republic of Zambia is scheduled to hold the inauguration ceremony for His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President-elect tomorrow, 24th August, 2021. The ceremony will be held at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka in strict observance of Covid-19 protocols. The day of the ceremony has been declared a public holiday to enable all citizens to participate in the process. The greater majority of Zambians countrywide are encouraged to follow the proceedings on national television and other online media platforms.”
Dr Miti said dignitaries from the UK, USA, Saudi Arabia among others would also attend the ceremony.
“Also in attendance will be dignitaries from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, as well as high level representation from the African Union Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat, COMESA Secretariat, SADC Secretariat and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Secretariat. The attendance of the high level dignitaries is a testament of Zambia’s continued growing bonds of cordial relations with other countries and its effective participation in regional, sub-regional, continental and international organisations. The Government of the Republic of Zambia remains committed to the principles that underpin its Foreign Policy in furtherance of strong relations with other countries and international organisations,” said Dr Miti.
Meanwhile, acting director of the US Trade and Development agency Enoh Ebong has led a US presidential delegation that would attend the inauguration ceremony.
In a statement availed by the US embassy, Monday, Ebong said agencies such as USTDA looked forward to building a strong bilateral relationship with Zambia.
“The people of Zambia exercised their political rights and voted in historic numbers in Zambia’s August 12 general elections. We congratulate them, and President-elect Hichilema, on this momentous occasion. Across the US government, agencies such as USTDA look forward to building a strong bilateral relationship with Zambia as it strengthens the institutions that undergird its democracy,” read the statement.
“USTDA has a long history linking US businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries such as Zambia. Over the last two decades, USTDA has supported 19 projects in Zambia, including recent support for the roll-out of solar microgrids and the development of the country’s renewable energy sector.”
And in a separate statement, the UK Embassy announced that UK’s Minister for Africa James Duddridge arrived in Lusaka Monday afternoon for a three-day visit to Zambia in order to attend the inauguration ceremony.
“During the course of his visit, Minister Duddridge will have a meeting with President Hichilema where they will discuss how the UK and Zambia can continue to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Minister Duddridge will also meet with Zambian business leaders in order to understand better how the UK and Zambia can increase trade and economic cooperation; and he will meet Zambian pro-democracy activists and civil society organisations in recognition of their efforts in standing up for democracy in Zambia and the wider region,” read the statement.
“During his visit, Minister Duddridge will be accompanied by Dolika Banda, CDC Group Non-Executive Board member. CDC Group is the UK’s Development Finance Institution and has a long history of investing for development in Zambia. He will also be accompanied by the UK’s High Commissioner to Zambia, His Excellency Mr Nicholas Woolley and Steve Beel, UK Development Director.”