Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, born on 3 September 1948 in Mufulira, Northern Rhodesia, was the third president of Zambia. He played a significant role in shaping the political landscape of Zambia and had a distinguished legal career before entering politics.
Mwanawasa's early life was marked by his birth into a family of ten children in Mufulira. He pursued higher education and earned a law degree from the University of Zambia. Subsequently, he worked in various private law firms, eventually establishing his own firm, Mwanawasa & Company, in 1978. In 1985, he served as Solicitor General in the Zambian government before returning to private practice in 1986.
Notably, in 1989, Mwanawasa gained recognition for leading the legal defense team for Lt. Gen Christon Tembo, who faced accusations of conspiring to overthrow the government during Kenneth Kaunda's presidency. Mwanawasa's successful defense elevated his status among anti-Kaunda opposition circles. Following Frederick Chiluba's election as president in 1991, Mwanawasa was appointed as vice-president in November of the same year, prompting him to leave his law firm in March 1992.
Mwanawasa's political journey was characterized by ups and downs. He declined an opportunity to become president of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) before the 1990 party convention and instead chose to run for a parliamentary seat, which he won with a significant majority.
In December 1991, Mwanawasa was involved in a serious traffic accident, leading to multiple injuries and noticeable slurred speech. A commission of inquiry was established to investigate the incident. He served as vice-president until his resignation in July 1994.
Mwanawasa re-entered politics in 2001 when he was elected as the presidential candidate for the MMD. He won the 2001 election and took office on 2 January 2002, despite disputed results and allegations of irregularities.
During his first term as president, Mwanawasa's government filed defamation charges against individuals who insulted him, reflecting his commitment to maintaining dignity in the presidency. He also attempted to promote national reconciliation by appointing opposition lawmakers to his cabinet.
In January 2005, Mwanawasa publicly apologized for failing to alleviate poverty in Zambia, where a significant portion of the population lived on less than $1 a day. He was re-elected as the president of the MMD for a five-year term in 2005.
Mwanawasa ran for a second term in the 2006 presidential election and won with 42.98% of the vote. His presidency was characterized by a focus on anti-corruption measures, attracting foreign investment, and fostering economic growth, particularly in the mining sector. He also criticized neighboring Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.
However, his health began to decline. In April 2006, he experienced a mild stroke, and in June 2008, he suffered a second stroke while attending an African Union summit in Egypt. He was evacuated to France for medical treatment, where his condition fluctuated.
On 19 August 2008, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa passed away at the Percy Military Hospital in Paris, becoming the first President of Zambia to die in office. His death was met with deep mourning and condolences from leaders across Africa. He left behind his wife, Maureen Mwanawasa, and seven children.
Levy Patrick Mwanawasa's legacy in Zambia is marked by his efforts to combat corruption, promote economic growth, and uphold the rule of law during his time as president. His dedication to these principles and his contributions to Zambian politics are remembered with respect and admiration.
LEVI PATRICK MWANAWASA
Levy Patrick Mwanawasa was the third president of Zambia. He served as president from January 2002 until his death in August 2008. Mwanawasa is credited with having initiated a campaign to rid the corruption siLevy Patrick Mwanawasauation in Zambia during his term. Wikipedia
DATE OF BIRTH: 3RD SEPTEMBER, 1948
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