Levy Mwanawasa


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(b. 3 Sept. 1948; d. 19 Aug. 2008).

President of Zambia, 2002–8Born in Mufulira, he studied law and graduated from the University of Zambia in 1973. He became a distinguished lawyer, and was the first Zambian to be appointed advocate to the High Court of England and Wales. In 1989 he rose to prominence when he defended former Vice-President Christon Tembo and others charged with plotting to overthrow the government of Kaunda. Mwanawasa joined the ruling Movement for a Multi-party Democracy (MMD), and in 1991 was chosen by Chiluba to become his Vice-President. He resigned in 1994, however, because of a row with a fellow minister. To universal surprise, Chiluba chose him as candidate for the presidency in 2001, and he narrowly won the elections in the following year. Mwanawasa was considered a man of the utmost integrity, and he was untainted by the mistakes of his predecessor. In office, he benefited from an increase in market prices for copper, Zambia's main export, which generated economic growth. He was re-elected in 2006, a year in which he also suffered a mild stroke. He had a further stroke in 2008 and died in office.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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