African Press International (API)

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The burial of a former president

Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2008

President Mwai Kibaki with First Lady Mrs. Lucy Kibaki pay their last respects to the late Zambian President Dr. Levy Mwanawasa at State House, Lusaka.

Mwanawasa buried in Zambia

Written By:Zipporah Njeri/BBC

The late Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has been buried at a sombre ceremony in the capital, Lusaka.There was a guard of honour and several choirs at a church ceremony in the grounds of the national parliament.

Proceedings were televised on four giant screens in Lusaka, as well as live on national television.

Leaders from across Africa and senior officials from Europe and the US attended the state funeral. Fourteen African heads of state and government are gathering in Lusaka.

Among thosewho attendedthe funeral are Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki who arrived on Tuesday in Zambia accompanied by first lady Lucy Kibaki.

Otherswere South African President Thabo Mbeki, Tanzanian, African Union President Jakaya Kikwete and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe

Mr Mwanawasa died in France on 19 August, after suffering a stroke in June. He was 59.

Mr Mwanawasa became president in 2001 and was re-elected in 2006.

He had won praise from the world community for his economic prudence.

Mr Mwanawasa was one of the few African leaders to criticise Mr Mugabe, describing this year’s election in Zimbabwe as an embarrassment.

At home he will probably be best remembered for stripping his predecessor Frederick Chiluba of immunity from prosecution.

Mr Mwanawasa’s critics accused him of persecuting his political rivals under the guise of fighting corruption.

He was married and had six children. He had been a practising lawyer since 1973.



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