Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Zambia: trial of former president begins

Former President Frederick Chiluba is facing corruption charges, accused of having stolen more than $30 million. This is only the first trial ... another one begins on Dec 16 when he'll face more theft charges on money totaling about $4 million.

Chiluba was president of Zambia for 10 years ... 1991 - 2001. Last year, Parliament stripped him of his immunity so that he could stand trial.

This piece from the BBC gives a really good run down of the corruption allegations.

Now if you want just a bit more about Chiluba the man, check this piece. Here's a bit from the article ...
In 1996 when Kaunda [Chiluba's predecessor] regained political momentum, Chiluba changed the constitution to bar anyone with foreign parentage from becoming president. That effectively barred Kaunda because his parents hailed from neighboring Malawi.

In 1997 Chiluba survived a military coup by junior army officers who believed he had become too corrupt.

He then had Kaunda and other opposition leaders arrested on charges that they had financed the dissident soldiers.

In 2001, he tried to change the constitution to enable him to run for a third consecutive term, but met vigorous resistance, with thousands protesting in he streets.

He then hurriedly hand-picked his successor, Levy Mwanawasa, who last year had parliament strip him of his immunity so he could be prosecuted.
I haven't seen mention of this anywhere but I remember Chiluba as a natty dresser.