Hakainde Hichilema

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Hakainde Hichilema
Hakainde Hichilema 2014.jpg
President of the United Party
for National Development
Assumed office
Preceded by Anderson Mazoka
Personal details
Born (1962-06-04) 4 June 1962 (age 55)
Monze, Northern Rhodesia
Nationality Zambian
Political party UPND
Spouse(s) Mutinta
Alma mater University of Zambia (BA)
University of Birmingham (MBA)
Occupation Businessman
Profession Economist
Website hh-zambia.com
Nickname(s) HH

Hakainde Hichilema (born 4 June 1962) is a Zambian businessman and politician who has been President of the United Party for National Development, an opposition political party, since 2006.

He is a perennial presidential candidate, having contested five times: in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016.

Early life and career[edit]

Hichilema was born in a village in Monze District in present-day Zambia. He received a scholarship to study at the University of Zambia and graduated in 1986 with a BA in Economics and Business Administration. He thereafter pursued an MBA in Finance and Business Strategy at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.[1]

He served as the chief executive officer of both Coopers and Lybrand Zambia (1994–1998) and Grant Thornton Zambia (1998–2006).[2]

Political career[edit]

He is a member of the opposition United Party for National Development, a liberal political party. Following the death of Anderson Mazoka in 2006, he was elected as the party's new President. He also served as the leader of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), an alliance of three opposition political parties.

In the 2006 election, Hichilema was the candidate of the UDA and ran against incumbent president Levy Mwanawasa of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy and Patriotic Front candidate Michael Sata. He received the endorsement of former President Kenneth Kaunda. The election was held on 28 September 2006 and Hichilema took third place with about 25% of the vote.

Hichilema ran as the UPND candidate in the 2008 election, which was called following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa.[3] He came 3rd with 19.7% of the vote. In June 2009, Hichilema's party, the UPND, formed a pact with Michael Sata's Patriotic Front (PF) to contest the 2011 election together. However, indecision on the pact candidate, deep mistrust and accusations of tribalism from both sides resulted in the collapse of the pact in March 2011.[4]

He was one of the two main candidates in the January 2015 presidential election, which he lost by a narrow margin of just 27,757 votes (1.66%) against the ruling party's candidate, Edgar Lungu. Hichilema denounced the election as a sham and urged his supporters to remain calm.[5][6] He again faced Lungu as the main opposition candidate in the August 2016 presidential election, and he was again narrowly defeated.[7]

In April 2017, he was arrested on suspicion of treason and charged with attempting to overthrow the government.[8]


Hichilema was conferred with the Africa Freedom Award by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom on 27th October 2017 at an event held in Johannesburg, South Africa.[9]


Hichilema was featured on the popular BBC television program HARDtalk on 1st November 2017.[10] He is the first Zambian opposition political leader to be hosted on HARDtalk and the second Zambian Politician featured after former President Levy Mwanawasa.


Hichilema was invited to speak at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, commonly known as Chatham House, on 31st November 2017[11] He is the first Zambian to speak at Catham House.

Personal life[edit]

Hichilema is married to Mutinta and has three children.[2] He is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[12] Hichilema is a millionaire and the second-largest cattle rancher in Zambia.[13]

In December 2014, he denied being a Freemason and labelled people accusing him as malicious.[14] He also sued Bishop Edward Chomba of the Orthodox Church for defamation after the former called him a Satanist and a Freemason.[15]


  1. ^ "Biography: Hakainde Hichilema". www.hh-zambia.com. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "HH's curriculum vitae". Lusaka Times. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Zambia to hold presidential by-election on Oct.30", Xinhua, 10 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Opposition alliance in Zambia collapse as UPND pulls out", Newstime Africa, 11 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Zambia opposition cries foul as Lungu wins presidential election". The Daily Telegraph. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Hichilema, Hakainde (24 January 2015). "Edgar Lungu steals election". hh-zambia.com. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Zambia's President Edgar Lungu declared election winner". BBC News. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Mfula, Chris (April 18, 2017). "Zambian opposition leader charged with trying to overthrow government". Reuters. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "HH conferred with Africa Freedom Award". zambia24.com. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  10. ^ "Hakainde Hichilema, HARDtalk - BBC World News". BBC. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  11. ^ "Political Opposition and Policy Alternatives in Zambia". Chatham House. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  12. ^ "HH: I am not a Masonist, I am Christian and a church elder at SDA". Lusaka Times. 24 December 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Laing, Aislinn (19 January 2015). "Africa needs leaders to run countries like CEOs, Zambia's opposition leader says". The Daily Telegraph. Ndola. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "HH: I am an Adventist, I am a Christian, I don't know what Freemasonry is". Lusaka Times. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "HH sues Bishop Chomba for calling him a Satanist and Freemason". Lusaka Times. 25 December 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 

External links[edit]