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Opposition leaders accuse Zambian President of corruption

25th November 2003

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President Levy Mwanawasa, who spearheaded an anti-corruption drive in this southern African country, is himself facing questions about three land deals.

Opposition leaders have accused Mwanawasa of illegally acquiring two plots of land from the University of Zambia and one from the national Air Force for his personal use.

The accusations by Christon Tembo, head of the Forum for Democracy and Development, and Michael Sata, leader of the Patriotic Front party, featured on the front page of the local Post newspaper last week.

Mwanawasa says the properties were acquired legitimately, and claims the accusations are an attempt to cause upheaval in Zambia.

"The impression, which they are creating, by falsely claiming that the country is led by a corrupt leader, is only giving a wrong impression to the outside world and scares away investment," Mwanawasa said in a statement Sunday.

Mwanawasa's accusers both served in government under his predecessor, Frederick Chiluba.

Mwanawasa has angered many of Chiluba's allies by launching investigations into allegations of corruption by the former regime.

Chiluba, who hand-picked Mwanawasa to succeed him when he retired in January 2002, faces charges of "theft by a public servant". – Sapa-AFP.
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