Isaac Chansa scored the only goal of the game as Zambia defeated COSAFA rivals Zimbabwe 1-0 in their opening Group D match at the African Nations Championship in Rwanda on Tuesday.
The veteran midfielder netted in the second half after turning home a free-kick from striker Chris Katongo.
It was a deserved win for Chipolopolo, though Zimbabwe did have an excellent chance to equalise when Edmore Chirambadare found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but put the ball wide.
The loss was a first for Zimbabwe coach Kalisto Pasuwa since he took over the national team having previously recorded three wins and three draws.
Zambia will now seek to make it two wins from two when they tackle Uganda on Saturday, while Zimbabwe will hope to break their duck against Mali.
Mali and Uganda played to a 2-2 draw in the other game in the pool.
Meanwhile, Angola will be back in action on Thursday with a tough encounter against DR Congo. The Palancas Negras lost their Group B opener 1-0 to Cameroon on Monday.