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Levy Patrick Mwanawasa (born September 3, 1948) was elected president of Zambia in 2002.
He was born in Muflira the second of 10 children. He holds a law degree from the University of Zambia. He worked in private law firms from 1974 until 1978 when he formed his own firm Mwanawasa & Company. In 1985, Mwanawasa served as Solicitor General of the Republic of Zambia but went back to private practice the following year. He worked as senior partner in this firm until March 1992 when he was named as Vice President of Zambia in December 1991 by the newly elected president Frederick Chiluba.
On December 8, 1991 Mwanawasa while on duty was involved in a nasty road traffic accident in which his aide died on the spot. He suffered multiple body injuries. He was flown to Johannesburg, South Africa for medical treatment. He remained in hospital for 3 months. The president's son Castro Chiluba was also in the vehicle and sustained sever injuries.
Mwanawasa served as Vice President until 1994 when he resigned citing gross abuse of office and corruption by some leaders and insubordination to him by some colleagues. In 1996, he contested for the presidency of his party the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and lost. He retired from active politics again.
In August this 2000, the National Executive Committee of MMD elected Mwanawasa as its presidential candidate for the 2001 elections. He won the election, beating 10 other candidates including two other former vice presidents (Godfrey Miyanda and Gen. Christon Tembo).
Mwanawasa is married to Maureen and they have four children: Chipokota, Matolo, Lubona and Ntembe. He also has two other children Miriam and Patrick from his first marriage. His wife is a baptized member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.