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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 August, 2003, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Zambian leader survives sack bid
President Levy Mwanawasa
President Levy Mwanawasa still has many problems to solve
Zambia's parliament has voted against a motion to impeach President Levy Mwanawasa.

The move, which accused Mr Mwanawasa of 25 counts of violating the constitution, including corruption, nepotism and tribalism, was defeated by 92 votes to 57.

Two-thirds of the 169 MPs - 106 - had to vote in favour for the motion to succeed after two days of heated debate.

Correspondents say that Mr Mwanawasa has alienated many top officials by launching a vigorous anti-corruption campaign against members of the government of former President Frederick Chiluba.

The allegations were frivolous and baseless
Vice President Nevers Mumba
Mr Chiluba on Thursday pleaded not guilty to 65 counts of theft. He stood in the dock for more than an hour as he entered a separate plea on each count.

He has been charged with another 96 counts of theft, worth more than $40m during his 10 years in office.

Several senior members of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy MMD voted in favour of the motion, while some opposition MPs voted against it.

'Unfit'

"The president and his government can now get on with the task of building our country after many weeks of uncertainty induced by this motion that lacked merit. The allegations were frivolous and baseless," Vice President Nevers Mumba told Reuters news agency.

Enock Kavindele, sacked as vice-president in May, told parliament that Mr Mwanawasa was unfit to continue in office.

"I am ready to appear before any tribunal to prove that the president is corrupt," he said while producing various documents alleging that Mr Mwanawasa was soliciting for bribes from businessmen.

But Zambia's Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana said that Mr Kavindele was trying to use parliament to settle political scores.

Mr Mwanawasa is also grappling with unrest in the civil service and a huge budget deficit, which has prompted lenders such as the IMF to withhold aid.


SEE ALSO:
Pressure on Zambian leader
12 Aug 03  |  Africa
Charges mount against Chiluba
05 Aug 03  |  Africa
Zambia ex-leader on theft charge
24 Feb 03  |  Africa
Chiluba's legacy to Zambia
19 Dec 01  |  Africa
Country profile: Zambia
29 Nov 02  |  Country profiles


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