By Abdul Kimera
After gaining her independence in 1964 from Britain, Zambia was led by Kenneth Kaunda until 1991.
Nine years after capturing power Kaunda banned opposition but due to popular pressure in both Africa and the west he was forced to revise his decision on 1990.
He later fell from power with the advent of multiparty democracy in 1991 when he lost to Fredrick Chiluba from the movement of multi party democracy after a fiercely contested election.
Since then Zambia has engaged in different elections with the latest scheduled for today, August 12, where over 7 million voters across the country have turned up in what is referred to as the mostly contested election in recent times.
The two main figures in this contest are incumbent president Edgar Lungu and sixth time runner Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UNDP).
The 59-year old Hichilema, who has also lost to the incumbent two times, has faced continued frustrations during his campaigns where he was continually preaching about over whelming corruption in Zambia.
Amidst the global pandemic, surveys suggest that economic hardship has eroded support for Edgar Lungu, accused of borrowing, unsustainably making the overall debt rise up-to $12 billion and unknown figure from China.
Government critics say the pandemic has been by authorities in south African nation to oppress the opposition.
Amnesty international warned in June that repression under Lungu had pushed Zambia to the brink of a “Human rights crisis” citing the jailing of opposition figures and police killings.
Preliminary results are expected to be released by the end of Friday and in a few days, the winner will be announced.