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Zimbabwean-born Former Zambia President, Rupiah Banda Dies, Aged 85

Zimbabwean-born Former Zambia President, Rupiah Banda Dies, Aged 85

Former Zambia president Rupiah Bwezani Banda died on Friday evening in the capital Lusaka at age 85 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Banda, who was born on 19 February 1937 in the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, served as president of Zambia from 2008 and 2011.

Posting on Twitter on Friday, Zambia’s current president, Hakainde Hichilema, announced Banda’s death to the Zambian nation. He wrote:

It is with deep sadness that we learned today of the demise of Zambia’s 4th Republican President, H.E Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

As we pray for the bereaved family, we know that the Lord will wrap them in His arms and comfort them. MHSRIP

Later on Friday evening, Hichilema made a special televised address to the nation in tribute to Banda. He said:

We recognize with fondness his long and illustrious career in public service and we appreciate his service to the nation.

Banda was Zambia’s Vice President when President Levy Mwanawasa died in 2008. He then took over the presidency, making him the fourth leader of the country since Zambia gained independence from Britain in 1964.

Banda was narrowly elected on a ruling party ticket in October 2008 and served three years in the post.

His bid for reelection in 2011 failed as he lost to opposition leader Michael Sata. He retired from active politics thereafter.

More: DW

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