He went to school at Chiwala Secondary School in Ndola and later on did a Bachelor of law degree at the University of Zambia
He started practicing as a lawyer and formed his own law company, Mwanawasa and company in 1978. He made his mark in 1989 as a lawyer when he successfully defended former vice-president General Christon Tembo and others in a treason trial under President Kenneth Kaundas rule.
Under the leadership of Frederick Chiluba, a trade unionist, the MMD won the 1991 polls against Kenneth Kaunda.
Frederick Chiluba became Zambias second President and Mwanawasa as his vice. However, his role as vice-president was disturbed when he was involved in a traffic accident and he was seriously injured in 1991. He was flown to South Africa for treatment and was hospitalized for sometime. As a result of the accident in which his aide died, he developed a speech impediment.
He assumed his role as vice-president when he recovered. However, in 1994 he resigned following a row with Michael Sata, then Minister without portfolio in the MMD government. He went back to his old legal practice.
Levy Patrick Mwanawasa challenged Chiluba for the leadership of MMD in 1996 but was defeated. He stood out of the lime light for sometime until the question of Chilubas successor came up.
Frederick Chiluba decided to choose Mwanawasa as his successor and Mwanawasa went on to win by a controversial narrow victory in the December 2001 election. The opposition contested the results, but Levy Mwanawasa was sworn in as President on 2nd January 2002.
On 19th August 2008, Levy Mwanawasa died and the news was confirmed by vice-president Rupiah Banda. His death was attributed to complications due to his earlier stroke.
Levy Patrick Mwanawasa was buried at Embassy Park in Lusaka on 3rd September 2008. South African President, Thabo Mbeki, one of the 14 heads of African states who attended the funeral said that Mwanawasa had contributed to the restoration and strengthening of regional political unity and cohesion.
The date of burial was to coincide with his birth day. He would have been 60 years on that date.
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