Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has announced that he is winning the August 12 presidential elections.

He posted on Twitter this morning saying change had arrived in the copper-producing Southern African country.

Said Hichilema:

Good morning Zambia! Data coming in is very positive and the will of the people is clear. But be alert – when an outgoing regime panics, it can resort to desperate measures. So stay calm and focused. We will protect our vote with peace and love in our hearts. Change is HERE.

Hichilema also asked authorities to enable internet access, “We call on ZICTA to immediately unblock the internet so citizens can follow the electoral process and continue with their lives unhindered. It’s a shame that even the PF who ordered the shutdown are issuing unbridled statements through VPN,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has expressed concern over election day violence saying the polls have not been free and fair. He also took time to mention that his PF party lost two cadres in election violence yesterday.

Below is his full statement:

I received with shock and great sadness the report about the killing in cold blood of Jackson Kungo, who was my party’s chairman for North-Western Province, and a brother of provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chihili.

I’m also appalled by the amount of mayhem witnessed in North-Western, some parts of Western, and Southern provinces. Clearly, the elections in these places have not been free and fair.

When people say elections were not free and fair, they usually accuse the ruling party, but look at what is happening in these places! Who is causing this mayhem? It is the opposition at the center of it.

It is, of course, clear that these two Zambians have been brutally murdered by members of the opposition simply for holding different political views. Yesterday, during my address to the nation, I said: “As long as I remain President, I will not countenance violence.”

Less than 24 hours, later we experience such brutal incidents orchestrated by our opponents, who want to rule Zambia by force. But I will not take kindly to these evil schemes. I will ensure the lives of innocent citizens are protected.

I have, therefore, directed the Army Commander to reinforce troops in the three provinces and not to leave any stone unturned in ensuring peace is restored, and ensure that this kind of anarchy does not spread to other parts of the country.

The job to arrest the killers lies with security officers. I, therefore, want to urge all citizens to stay calm. To our members, do not retaliate. I know it hurts but some culprits have been arrested and the rest will be found. Let us all remain peaceful during this period.

On behalf of the government, my family and on my own behalf, I wish to tender heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families and pray for God’s comfort and strength during this trying period. God bless our great nation.