Rupiah Banda, the current Zambian Democratically elected president was born on 13th February 1937 in Gwanda, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
He went to school at Munali Secondary School, and later on University of Ethiopia, Lund University in Sweden, Wolfson College and Cambridge.
He joined the youth wing of the United National Independence Party in 1960. In 1966 he married his wife, Hope Mwansa Makulu and had five sons. Currently he is married to Thandiwe, with whom he has a set of twins.
Mr. Banda was appointed in 1965 as Zambias Ambassador to Egypt. On April 7 1967, he became ambassador to the United States where he served for about two years. Later on, he was appointed Permanent Representative to the United Nations. During this perid, he headed the U.N council for Namibia for about 2 years.
Other High Profile Positions Held in Zambia
After serving as ambassador to the U.S, he returned to Zambia and served as Chief Executive of the Rural Development Corporation (RDC) for about 2 years and as General Manager of the National Agriculture Marketing Board (Namboard) for about two years as well. He also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1975 to 1976, and at some time he served as Minister of Mines.
Banda was elected as a Member of Parliament for Munali Constituency in 1978.He served as a parliamentarian for 10 years, from 1978 and 1988. After joining the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), he was appointed on 9th October 2006 as Vice-President.
After Levy Patrick Mwanawasa suffered a stroke while attending an African Union summit in Egypt on 29th June 2008, Mr. Banda became acting president. On 26th August 2008, he filed an application to stand as the candidate of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).
On 30th October 2008, elections were held and in a closely contested fight among four presidential contenders, Rupiah Bwezani Banda became victorious. Rupiah Banda scored 718,359 votes against his closest rival Michael Sata, who garnered 683,150 votes.
On 2nd November 2008 at 14.42hrs Zambian time, Rupiah B Banda was inaugurated as president and became the fourth Zambian president in the history of Zambia.