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Former Zambian President Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda has died at the age of 85.

Mr Banda was the fourth president of Zambia from 2008 to 2011.

He was born on 19 February 1937 in Gwanda, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) and was a career politician.

During the presidency of Kenneth Kaunda, Banda held important diplomatic posts and was active in politics as a member of the United National Independence Party (UNIP).

Years later, he was appointed Vice President by President Levy Mwanawasa in October 2006, following the latter’s re-election.

He took over President Mwanawasa’s presidential responsibilities after he suffered a stroke in June 2008. Following President Mwanawasa’s death in August 2008, he became Acting President.

As the candidate of the governing Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), he narrowly won the October 2008 presidential by-election.

Opposition leader Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front defeated Mr Banda in the September 2011 presidential election after which Mr Banda retired from active politics.

Read the original article on The Herald.