FOURTH Republican President, Rupiah Bwezani Banda, has died aged 85.
President Hakainde Hichilema announced the death of Mr Banda in a national address yesterday.
President Hichilema said the country recognized with fondness Mr Banda’s long and illustrious career in public service and appreciated his service to Zambia.
“It is with great sadness that we learnt today of the demise of Zambia’s fourth Republican President, His Excellency Rupiah Bwezani Banda.
“His life of service to our country, and to our continent, represents the highest form of patriotism,” President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema has since sent his condolences to the family of Mr Banda on behalf of Government and Zambians.
“As we pray for the bereaved family, we know that the Lord will wrap them in His arms and
comfort them. May RB, as we will always fondly remember him, rest in peace,” Mr Hichilema said.
He urged Zambians to mourn Mr Banda with respect and dignity.
President Hichilema said the burial date would be announced in due course
Mr Banda who served as the President of Zambia from 2008 to 2011 died after a battle against colon cancer.
Mr Banda who was diagnosed with cancer of the colon in 2020, decided to go public on his battle against the disease.
He said despite his illness being a personal matter, he felt it was important that the Zambian people
In 2002, He lost his first wife ,
Hope to cancer, while his widow Thandiwe is a cancer survivor.
Born on February 13, 1937, Mr Banda also served as the vice president of Zambia with Levy Mwanawasa as President.He was appointed as vice-president by president Mwanawasa in October 2006, following the latter’s re-election.
Mr Banda took over presidential responsibilities after Mr Mwanawasa suffered a stroke in June 2008, and following his death in August 2008, he became acting president.
As the candidate of the governing MMD, he narrowly beat his closest rival, Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front in the October 2008 Presidential by-election.