Zambian’s Former president Rupiah Banda has died at the age of 85. The news of his death comes two years after it was disclosed in 2020 that he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Rupiah Banda’s son, Andrew Banda, announced the death of the former leader on Friday, March 10.
“He is gone”, Andrew said while speaking to a media outfit in Lusaka.
Who is Rupiah Banda?
Rupiah Banda became Zambia's fourth leader after the country got her independence from Britain.
Banda was formerly the vice president before he had to take over from his predecessor, Levy Mwanawasa, who unexpectedly succumbed to a stroke.
He was in power for three years from 2008. His tenure was notable for a visible increase in economic growth but was stained with corruption allegations.
Zambia's economy took a better turn when the price of copper started increasing and the high influx of Chinese investment. The late former president was known for his construction spree which he started under Mwanawasa, building much-needed roads, hospitals, and schools.
His tenure recorded a 7.6 percent increase in growth for 2011, an increase from 6.4 percent in the previous year.
The veteran diplomat was later defeated by opposition leader Michael Sata in the September 2011 elections. The defeat was coupled with the stance that only a few hands accumulated wealth and corrupt allegations made him seem undeserving of the seat.