Home Zambia News Happy 84th birthday to former President Rupiah Banda

Happy 84th birthday to former President Rupiah Banda

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President Rupiah Bwezani Banda opens up on battle with cancer

Rupiah Banda is a Zambian politician who served as the President of Zambia from 2008 to 2011 before being defeated by Opposition leader Michael Sata. Born in Zimbabwe to migrant Zambian parents, he became interested in politics quite early on in life and became a member of the Zambian African National Congress (ZANC) headed by the late Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula.

However, he soon left the party and moved on to the youth wing of Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP). With time he rose in prominence and became an influential figure in Zambian politics.

Prior to becoming the president he held several important diplomatic positions and was the Vice President during the administration of President Levy Mwanawasa. When incumbent President Mwanawasa suffered a stroke, Banda had to take over the presidential responsibilities. After serving as the acting president following Mwanawasa’s death, he was formally elected the President of Zambia in 2008. As president, he focused on the economic development of Zambia and played a key role in promoting trade with other countries.

He had been a successful businessman before he plunged head-on into politics and his business acumen helped him in rejuvenating trade and industry in Zambia. However, he has also been accused of corruption and abuse of authority because of which he lost his presidential immunity

President Rupiah Banda has been diagnosed with cancer of the colon and is currently receiving treatment.

Mr. Banda says despite his illness being a personal matter, he felt it is important that the Zambian people are informed.

He says this is because he remains grateful for the privilege, he was accorded to serve as head of state.

Mr. Banda however says his wife Thandiwe and family continue to render to him counsel and support during his battle against the disease as he has been receiving treatment for some months.

The Fourth Republican President has since thanked President Edgar Lungu and Government for the support in the facilitating his treatment.

He has since appealed to the Zambian people to support him through the battle against the disease.

Mr. Banda lost his first Wife , Hope to cancer, while his wife Thandiwe is a cancer survivor, who he says her counsel , encouragement and support is borne out of her own experience after having successfully battled the disease.

He said Mrs. Banda has been a great source of inspiration and comfort.

Mr. Banda said this is in a statement released to ZNBC News through the Deputy Administrative Assistant Chibeza Mfuni.

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