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Rupiah Bwezani Banda

Banda, Rupiah Bwezani, 1937–, Zambian politician, president of Zambia (2008–11), b. Gwenda, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Educated in Ethiopia, Sweden, and England, he joined the United National Independence party (UNIP) in 1960, and has been both a businessman and a political figure. He served (1965–67) as Zambia's ambassador to the United Arab Republic (Egypt) and subsequently (1967–69) as ambassador to the United States. He was Zambia's United Nations representative from 1974 to 1975, foreign minister from 1975 to 1976, and a member of parliament for a decade (1978–88). Banda joined the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in 2000, and in 2006 was appointed vice president by President Levi Mwanawasa. When Mwanawasa died in 2008, Banda was appointed president and subsequently he narrowly won election to the office. He lost his bid for reelection in 2011 to Michael Sata, the Patriotic Front candidate. In 2013 he was charged with abuse of authority while president; he denied the charges.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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