Hakainde Hichilema has finally won the presidential election after five failed campaigns. There was dancing in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, when it emerged that Hichilema had beat President Edgar Lungu by over one million votes. Though there are cries of foul play by the losers, it is pretty clear that Hichilema won by a landslide.
Hakainde has been a politician for decades now. However, before he entered politics, he was a well-established businessman. His journey from being a cattle boy to being the president-elect of Zambia is an interesting one. Zambia is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa.
- Full name: Hakainde Hichilema
- Nickname: HH
- Date of birth: 4th June 1962
- Age: 59
- Place of birth: Monze district
- Nationality: Zambian
- Profession: Politician, Businessman
- Sexuality: Heterosexual
- Current residence: Lusaka, Zambia
- Ethnicity: African
- Body build: Fit
- Hair colour: Black
- Eye colour: Black
- Marital status: Married
- Spouse: Mutinta Hichilema
- Children: Miyanda, Chikonka, Habwela Hichilema
- Education: the University of Zambia, University of Birmingham
- Known for: Winning presidential elections
How old is Hakainde? Hichilema was born on 4th June 1962, making him 59 years old (as of 2021). He was born in Monze District, Zambia.
After completing high school, he received a scholarship to study at the University of Zambia, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration. Next, he pursued an MBA in Finance and Business Strategy at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
After getting his accreditations, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Coopers and Lybrand Zambia from 1994-1998. He then went on to be the CEO of Grant Thornton Zambia between 1998 and 2006. Since then, he has grown his business and has added titles like property management, financial consultancy and tourism to his portfolio.
Hichilema has been active in every political campaign since 2006. He first tried to be president in 2006 as the leader of the liberal party, the United Party for National Development (UPND). That year, he went against President Levy Mwanawasa, the incumbent, and Michael SATA. Hakainde took third place with about 25% of the vote.
In 2008, President Mwanawasa passed away, which prompted another presidential election. Hichilema again took third place. In the next presidential election, Hakainde was one of the two leading candidates. He still lost; however, this time, the margin was smaller. He denounced the elections as a sham.
In August 2016, he again went head to head with Edgar Lungu and was narrowly defeated. After his loss in 2016, Hakainde went right back to preparing for the next presidential poll. Again, he was up against Edgar Lungu, who won the presidential election in 2016.
Hichilema’s time in prison
Why was Hakainde Hichilema arrested? On 11th April 2017, Hichilema was arrested in his home on orders by President Lungu’s government. He was charged with treason after accusations of endangering the president’s life. Allegedly, Hakainde’s motorcade had refused to give way to the motorcade transporting the president.
Some even went ahead to defecate on Hichilema’s bed. In addition, the police used tear gas canisters to gain entry into Hichilema’s home, which caused those in the residence to collapse due to inhalation.
Hakainde vehemently denied the charges, which carried a minimum charge of at least 15 years and a maximum death penalty sentence. The arrest of the opposition leader was widely condemned worldwide, with most people viewing it as a minor traffic offence.
The United States, the European Union, the European parliament, and other political leaders in Africa all denounced the arrest.
In an interview with HARDtalk, he recounted his experience in prison. He was held in solitary confinement for eight days without food, water, and light and was not allowed any visitors. In addition, he stated that he was tortured by having his private parts pepper-sprayed.
While in prison, Hakainde received various high profile visitors due to his predicament. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president, visited him but was turned away by prison officials. Mmusi Maimane, a leader of the Democratic Alliance in South Africa, also tried to visit but was not allowed to disembark his plane.
He was also visited by Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria. In addition, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, visited him twice.
Protests broke out in Zambia (a visa-free country), South Africa, and the United Kingdom demanding the release of Hichilema and condemning Edgar’s authoritarian rule. This led to President Lungu declaring a state of emergency.
On 16th August 2017, he was released from prison, which was a great cause for celebration. After his release, Hichilema’s fame skyrocketed, and he was awarded the Africa Freedom Award in Johannesburg.
Later that year, a book about his experience in prison titled Hakainde Hichilema’s Prison Diary was published by journalist Fredrick Misebezi.
What is Hichilema’s net worth?
Do you want to know what Hakainde Hichilema’s net worth is? He is worth $389 million. He has amassed this wealth due to his various endeavours and has even been named the richest politician in Zambia.
Like Ken Ofori Atta, he is both a businessman and politician. Apart from his multiple business endeavours and political ambitions, he also owns one of the biggest cattle ranches in the country.
Does Hakainde Hichilema have shares in Zambeef? In his endeavours as a businessman, Hakainde has acquired shares in several private companies. One of them is Zambeef Limited. The others include Zambezi Sun, Pick N Pay, Game Stores, Mukuba mall, Manda Hill Centre, and several others.
Other assets that the millionaire owns includes several houses and office blocks. Hakainde Hichilema’s new houses include mansions in South Africa, England, Lusaka, and an office block in Choma.
Hakainde Hichilema’s wife is Mutinta Hichilema. The couple has been blessed with three children, Miyanda, Habwela, and Chikonka Hichilema.
What is Hakainde Hichilema’s religion? Due to his financial prowess, Hichilema was accused of being a Freemason. He denied these claims and labelled his accusers as malicious. He is a staunch member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Hakainde Hichilema is the new president-elect of the Republic of Zambia. His journey from rags to riches has been a tumultuous one and an inspiration to many.
Do you want to know more about Kennedy Agyapong? Yen.com.gh has all the information you need about the famous politician. Before he became a politician, Agyapong was already an established businessman.
Kennedy is a Ghanaian Member of Parliament who has been in the political scene for around two decades. He is one of the richest politicians in the country.