Chipolopolo, AFCON winners in 2012, were winless in their first two qualifying matches, having taken just one point from qualifiers against Mozambique and Namibia.
Zambia beat Guinea-Bissau 2-1 after goals from Stoppila Sunzu and Justin Shonga on Wednesday to boost their hopes of reaching the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, they now move up to top spot in Group K on four points after comfortably seeing off Guinea-Bissau, who also have four points.
Mozambique, also on four points, will look to leapfrog their rivals when they host Namibia on Saturday.
Chipolopolo took the lead after 17 minutes, when Sunzu, a veteran of the 2012 winners, beat the onrushing goalkeeper and headed home from a corner to cap off a period of dominance for the hosts.
They extended their advantage seven minutes after half-time, when forward Shonga put his underwhelming Orlando Pirates behind him with an angled shot.
Frederic Mendy scored a consolation goal for the visitors nine minutes from time, but the Bissau-Guineans were unable to stage an unlikely comeback.