Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba has died, his spokesperson said Saturday.
Mr Chiluba, 68, who ruled Zambia between 1991 and 2001, died in the early hours of Saturday in “his bedroom” at his Lusaka residence, said Emmanuel Mwamba, his spokesperson.
“It is with a deep sense of loss that we regret to announce that the second president of the Republic of Zambia Dr Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba died a few minutes after midnight,” said Mr Mwamba.
Mr Mwamba said Dr Chiluba had a “normal day” on Friday but started feeling ill in the evening and was attended to by his doctor.
“Chiluba complained that he was feeling like he had some gas. The doctor attended to him and left. Then two hours later Dr Kangwa was called and he came and attended to him. Dr Chiluba was even joking that “doctor ndemishupafye (doctor, I am just troubling you) I am well” but Dr Kangwa noticed that he was unwell.
“Just a few minutes before midnight, Dr Chiluba was in the bedroom with Mrs (Regina) Chiluba and (his doctor) Dr Kangwa and they noticed that he had rather quickly changed. They panicked, they tried to call an ambulance but the doctor was in place, he checked him and realised he had died,” said the spokesman.
A trade unionist, Mr Chiluba was credited for the reintroduction of multiparty politics in Zambia and liberalising the economy when he won the 1991 elections after seeing off the challenge of the incumbent, Kenneth Kaunda.
However, soon after leaving office Mr Chiluba’s life was dogged with corruption allegations.
Mr Chiluba was alleged to have embezzled over $ 46 million, among other charges, when he served as president and underwent a seven-year trial but he was controversially acquitted in 2009.