Chiluba will be sadly missed, says Banda

2011-06-18 22:30

Lusaka – Zambian President Rupiah Banda formally announced the death of Zambia’s former leader Frederick Chiluba on Saturday, saying he would be missed across the world.

"It is with deep sorrow and sadness that I formally announce the passing of our dear former president Frederick Chiluba who died earlier this morning," Banda said in a statement.

"He will be sadly missed by all Zambians and human rights activists across the world," said Banda.

Chiluba, 68, credited with turning the page on the autocratic rule of founding father Kenneth Kaunda but later accused of plundering state coffers, died Saturday.

Chiluba, who came to office in 1991 after 27 years of single party socialist rule, died at his home shortly after midnight after suffering a seizure, his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba said.

Weeping mourners gathered outside his house in the suburb of Kabulonga east of the capital Lusaka, as politicians and relatives arrived to pay their respects.

Mwamba said the diminutive leader - only 1.5m tall - had felt unwell on Friday afternoon. "He had a seizure, the doctor tried to resuscitate him for 10 minutes, but realised he was dead."

The leader had been suffering from acute heart and kidney problems, often visiting South Africa for medical care.

Politicians who served in his cabinet have hailed him for his role in strengthening multi-party democracy in the southern African country.

Democracy

"Chiluba was a magnanimous figure, whenever we are talk about the history of Zambia, we will always talk about him and Kaunda," said Godfrey Miyanda who served as his vice president.

"He saved the country from becoming a one party state," he added.

Chiluba led the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, a coalition of unions, civic and church groups as well as former Kaunda loyalists who had grown disillusioned with the founding father's autocratic style.

Initially welcomed by the West which had struggled to get on with the leftist Kaunda, Chiluba won praise for his emphasis on democracy, human rights and governmental transparency.

But his image was tainted by a lengthy corruption trial, stemming from abuse of authority and theft of public funds amounting to $500 000 while in office from 1991 to 2001.

In 2007 the Zambian government imposed a travel ban on him after his two co-defendants, including former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu, fled the country.

Chiluba consistently denied any wrongdoing, accusing his hand-picked successor president Levy Mwanawasa of trying to destroy his legacy through an anti-corruption crusade.

Last year a judge in Zambia dismissed a 2007 ruling by a British court that found him and his associates guilty of stealing $46m in public funds during his presidency.

Education

A Zambian court in 2009 acquitted him of charges that he embezzled $500 000 in public funds.

Chiluba's exact date of birth was never confirmed, but he is believed to have been born in 1942 in what is now Zambia's northern neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In his teenage years, Chiluba worked as a bus conductor and sisal cutter in neighbouring Tanzania before making his way to the newly independent Zambia where he first came to prominence as chairperson of the once powerful Zambia Congress of Trade Unions which he headed for 17 years.

He is not known to have had any formal education.

Chiluba is survived by his widow Regina, ex-wife Vera Tembo and nine children.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Read more on:    levy mwanawasa  |  frederick chiluba  |  rupiah banda  |  zambia  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Nkandla: Zuma 'still looking for undue benefit'

President Jacob Zuma has told supporters at an election rally in Mpumalanga that he had not wrongfully benefited from the upgrade to his Nkandla home.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.60

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.