Frederick Chiluba dies

2011-06-18 09:47

Lusaka  - Frederick Chiluba, Zambia's first democratically elected president who fought off corruption charges after standing down, has died aged 68, local media reported on Saturday.

The cause of death was not immediately clear. Chiluba suffered from a chronic heart problem and had been hospitalised in the past.

A former trade unionist, Chiluba led the copper-rich country for just over a decade after ousting liberation hero Kenneth Kaunda in multi-party elections in 1991.

Hailed as a democrat for helping dismantle Kaunda's socialist single-party rule of 27 years, Chiluba was later charged with stealing nearly $500,000 of public funds.

He was acquitted of all charges in 2009, while two business executives accused with him were found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison.

Foreign governments, including the United States, questioned Zambia's commitment to fighting graft after the ruling.

In 2007 a British judge ordered Chiluba to repay $58 million to compensate for money he was accused of stealing during his decade in office.

That ruling, hailed as a turning point in Africa's fight against corruption, was made in London, where Zambian officials filed a civil case to try and recover assets owned by Chiluba and his friends in Britain and other European countries.

A Zambian court later decided that local laws did not allow the enforcement of overseas rulings.

A popular figure in Zambia, Chiluba remained a close ally of the current president, Rupiah Banda. Chiluba had maintained the charges against him stemmed from a political witch hunt.

  • Flasheart - 2011-06-18 10:03

    Liberation Hero to corrupt thief. Why does that sound so familiar?

      Datbrotherfromthestates - 2011-06-18 19:13

      he was no liboration hero! kenneth kaunda liberated zambia from the likes of bigots as yourself. you dont like african leaders then take your white bigoted ASSS back to europe! does that sound familiar to you?

      pitbull - 2011-06-19 09:16

      @Datbrotherfromthestates: Kaunda was a thief and a liar. He was far, far more corrupt than Chiluba ever was. I wonder if you, Datbrotherfromthestates, ever spent time in Zambia? Kaunda caused most of the mines to close down and become defunct thereby causing Zambia to go into a steep spiralling decline. He nationalised nearly everything and then all those companies he nationalised died as they are going to die in this country if Jularse Mampara gets his way. The "hideous racist whites" discovered copper in Zambia and mined it for the profit of the country but Kaunda sold his soul to the Chinese and the Russians who raped the country and stole all the minerals in exchange for the Tanzam railway line which never functioned in the rainy season. I am afraid >R Datbrotherfromthestates you are a far far greater "bigoted ASSS" than I could ever be. Why don't you get your black bigoted ASSS back to Africa and I will take your place in the "states" where I can live free from the "bigoted ASSS"es like you.

      Flasheart - 2011-06-19 11:20

      @Datbrotherfromthestates. You know absolutely nothing about me. Yet you assume I am white? But I amused at the typical knee-jerk "white-bigot" "go back to europe" crap people like yourself spew when they have no capacity for a real argument. Come on then. Throw some more racist insults - that's all you're good at.

  • Eric West - 2011-06-18 10:13

    Good riddance of yet another corrupt, African despot!

      Yoni - 2011-06-19 09:17

      Another tsotsi moves on without serving time for his deeds. In 2009 he was controversially acquitted of criminal charges in Zambia. However two years before in 2007, British judge Peter Smith ordered Chiluba to pay $58 million to the Zambian Treasury to compensate for money he was suspected of stealing while he was in office. The ruling, which was hailed as a turning point in Africa's battle against official corruption, was made in Britain after Zambian officials filed a civil case there hoping to recover properties and other assets owned by Chiluba and his associates in Britain and other European countries. Shocking to think Zambians had to launch a civil case in a foreign country to get justice. Well, I guess that's the way forward for freethinking South Africans. The only difference might be that our own future Slobodan "Malemovic" will probably end up in the Hague...

      pitbull - 2011-06-19 09:19

      I wonder if you can wish all that on South Africa's malignant tumours called the ANC and the ANCYL

  • BigMoose - 2011-06-18 10:14

    Another crook in the dirtbin of history.

  • Ian - 2011-06-18 10:28

    goodbye, another one for the thieving pit in hell

  • Tom - 2011-06-18 10:32

    Zambia's first democratically elected president? Nope.

      pitbull - 2011-06-19 09:17

      Kaunda was not democratically elected. Read your history

  • Mabhulwana - 2011-06-18 12:09

    So Dr Kenneth Kaunda(he of the white handkerchief) has outlived this fellow. I wonder what is his secret to longevity.

      Ross - 2011-06-18 15:00

      The good life in South Africa.

  • jamesonl - 2011-06-18 14:14

    Frederick Titus Chiluba, i miss your colourful suits

      Yoni - 2011-06-19 09:12

      Don't worry, Johann Stemmett is still around.

  • Ross - 2011-06-18 15:00

    I hope that they discovered where the stolen loot is hidden.

  • naphtaly.calvin - 2011-06-18 19:05

    Sad for the Zambians.Cndolescences.

  • Deon - 2011-06-18 20:25

    Hy was 'n goeie man en goeie leier.

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