President of Zambia

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President of the
Republic of Zambia
Flag of the President of Zambia.svg
Presidential Flag
Hakainde Hichilema

since 24 August 2021
StatusHead of state
Head of government
Term length5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderKenneth Kaunda
Formation24 October 1964
DeputyVice-President of Zambia
Salary63,100 USD annually[1]

The President of Zambia is the head of state and head of government of Zambia the commander-in-chief of the Zambian Armed Forces. The president is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of the party to which the president is a member. The president also directs the foreign and domestic policy of Zambia. The president is directly elected by the people through the presidential elections to a five-year term and is one of only two nationally elected into office, the other being the Vice President of Zambia. Only two vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's death in office.

Hakainde Hichilema was declared president-elect on 16 August 2021. The next presidential election will be held in 2026.


The presidency was adopted after Zambia gained its independence in 1964.

Powers and duties

(1) The president performs the following powers and functions:

(a) Sign bills duly passes by parliament.

(b) Convey meetings with Cabinet

(c) Refer disputes of a constitutional nature between parties represented in Parliament or between organs of state at any level of government to the Constitutional Court.

(d) Confer honours.

(e) Appoint, accredit, receive and recognise ambassadors, diplomatic representatives and other diplomatic officials.

(f) Appoint commissions of inquiry.

(g) Negotiate and sign international agreements

(2) The president shall consult the Executive Deputy President.

(a) In development and execution of the policies of the international government.

(b) All matters relating to the management of the Cabinet and performance of Cabinet business.

The President is addressed as "Your Excellency" or "Mr/Madam President" and referred to as "The Honourable (name)".


State House in Lusaka serves as the official place of residence for the president.

Electoral system

Taking Oath

The President-elect will, before formally assuming office, make and subscribe an oath or solemn affirmation before the Chief Justice or a Judge of the Supreme Court.


A special team of officers from the Zambia Police are charged with protecting the sitting president and the first family. As part of their protection, presidents, first ladies, their children and other immediate family members, and other prominent persons.


Timeline of presidents

      United National Independence Party (UNIP)
      Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD)
      Patriotic Front (PF)


§ Elected unopposed
Died in office

Picture Name
Elected Took office Left office Political Party
1 Kenneth David Kaunda detail DF-SC-84-01864.jpg Kenneth Kaunda
24 October 1964 2 November 1991 UNIP
2 Frederick Chiluba.jpg Frederick Chiluba
2 November 1991 2 January 2002 MMD
3 Levy Mwanawasa.jpg Levy Mwanawasa
2 January 2002 19 August 2008
(died in office)
Rupiah Banda.jpg Rupiah Banda
Acting President
29 June 2008 2 November 2008 MMD
4 Rupiah Banda
2008 2 November 2008 23 September 2011
5 Michael Sata.jpg Michael Sata
2011 23 September 2011 28 October 2014
(died in office)
Guy Scott.jpg Guy Scott
Acting President
28 October 2014 25 January 2015 PF
6 Edgar Lungu.jpg Edgar Lungu 2015 25 January 2015 Incumbent PF
  1. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  2. Acting for Mwanawasa to 19 August 2008.
  3. Acting after Sata died in office.