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Levy Mwanawasa

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President Levy Mwanawasa

Levy Patrick Mwanawasa (born September 3, 1948) is the third President of Zambia (since 2002).

He was born in Mufulira the second of 10 children. He holds a law degree from the University of Zambia. He worked in private law firms from 1974 until 1978 when he formed his own firm Mwanawasa & Company. In 1985, Mwanawasa served as Solicitor General of the Republic of Zambia but went back to private practice the following year. He was named as Vice-President of Zambia in December 1991 by the newly elected President Frederick Chiluba and left his firm in March 1992.

On December 8, 1991, Mwanawasa was involved in a serious traffic accident in which his aide died on the spot. He suffered multiple body injuries and was flown to Johannesburg, South Africa for medical treatment. He remained in hospital for 3 months. A lasting effect of the accident is his noticeably slurred speech.

Mwanawasa served as Vice-President until his resignation in 1994, citing gross abuse of office and corruption by some leaders and insubordination to him by some colleagues. In 1996, he contested Chiluba for the presidency of his party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), but lost. He retired from active politics again.

In August 2000, the National Executive Committee of MMD elected Mwanawasa as its presidential candidate for the 2001 elections. He won the election, beating 10 other candidates including two other former vice presidents (Godfrey Miyanda and Gen. Christon Tembo), and took office on January 2, 2002. In January 2005, Mwanawasa apologised to the nation for failing to tackle Zambian poverty. About 75% of the country's population live on less than $1 a day, the United Nations' indicator of absolute poverty.

Mwanawasa is married to Maureen and they have four children: Chipokota, Matolo, Lubona and Ntembe. He also has two other children (Miriam and Patrick) from his first marriage. His wife is a baptized member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.



Preceded by:
Frederick Chiluba
President of Zambia
2002–present
Succeeded by:
Incumbent

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