Rupiah Banda, the former president of Zambia, died on Friday at the age of 85 following a battle with colon cancer, according to his son.
Andrew, Banda’s second eldest kid, confirmed the death, saying, “He died at 1900 hours today.”
Banda, who served as Zambia’s fourth president from 2008 to 2011, was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and had been getting treatment.
He served in various diplomatic positions under the first president, Kenneth Kaunda, before being named vice president by then-President Levy Mwanawasa in 2006.
When Mwanawasa suffered a stroke in mid-2008, Banda assumed the presidency in an acting capacity. On a governing party ticket, Banda won the October elections the same year by a razor-thin margin.
However, suspicions of bribery tarnished his term, and in 2013, Zambia’s parliament removed Banda’s immunity from prosecution, allowing investigators to arrest him for corruption-related offences.
During his presidency, Banda was accused of abuse of power, corrupt acquisition of public property, and misuse of public funds totaling more than $11 million, although he was never convicted in a court of law and served no jail time.