Zambia polls: The timeline

2011-09-23 14:53

Sept 23 - Zambian opposition leader, Michael Sata, secured an upset presidential victory, defeating incumbent Rupiah Banda.

Here is a timeline of major events in Zambia:

1964 - Zambia, formerly the British colony of Northern Rhodesia, holds its first election. Kenneth Kaunda wins presidency and his United National Independence Party (UNIP) wins parliamentary election. In October, Zambia gains independence from Britain.

1972 - Kaunda turns Zambia into one-party state.

1990 - Kaunda signs law allowing other political parties.

1991 - Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), led by Frederick Chiluba, secures landslide victory in first multi-party election in 23 years.

1996 - Chiluba and the MMD are returned to power in election.

1997 - Following months of unrest, rebel soldiers attempt a coup. Kaunda is arrested.

June 1998 - Kaunda walks free from court after the state drops all charges that he knew about the coup plot.

April 2001 - Nine ministers quit the MMD to protest against Chiluba's bid to run for an unconstitutional third term. Chiluba backs down.

Dec 2001 - Prominent lawyer and former Vice-President Levy Mwanawasa of the MMD wins a presidential election with less than 30%of vote. Street protests and legal challenges follow.

Feb 2003 - Chiluba is charged with stealing more than $2m of public money while in office, part of a widening anti-graft drive by Mwanawasa.

Aug 2003 - Police arrest Chiluba and charge him with stealing more than $40m during his decade in power.

May 2006 - Opposition presidential contender Anderson Mazoka dies.

Sept 2006 - Mwanawasa wins a second term in office. Challenger Michael Sata accuses him of rigging.

Dec 2006 - Opposition leader Sata is charged with false declaration of assets, but a court throws out the case.

May 2007 - British judge Peter Smith orders Chiluba to pay $58m to the Zambian Treasury to compensate for money he was suspected of stealing while in office.

Aug 2008 - Mwanawasa dies in a French military hospital after suffering a stroke in June.

Sept 2008 - The MMD chooses vice president Rupiah Banda as its presidential candidate.

Oct 2008 - Kaunda endorses Banda.

Nov 2008 - According to final results, Banda wins 40.1% of the votes cast in the Oct 29 election versus 38.1% for challenger Michael Sata.

Aug 2009 - Chiluba is acquitted of all corruption charges.

Feb 2010 - Banda visits China, meeting counterpart Hu Jintao. They sign a mining co-operation pact bolstering ties between Africa's largest copper producer and its biggest single investor.

April 2010 - China Nonferrous Metal Mining Company (CNMC) announces it plans to invest $600m in Zambia in 2010/2011.

July 2011 - Banda dissolves parliament on July 28 and sets Sept 20 as the date for elections.

Aug 2011 - A court clears Banda to take part in the elections after the main opposition party sought to have him blocked on grounds that he does not qualify to stand.

Sept 2011 - Sata, nicknamed "King Cobra" because of his sharp tongue, wins the presidential election.