Chiluba, Frederick Jacob Titus

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Chiluba, Frederick Jacob Titus

Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba, 1943–2011, Zambian labor and political leader. After several low-level jobs, he joined a union and rose in the labor movement to become (1974) chairman of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions. He and other labor leaders were jailed in 1981 after organizing strikes during the one-party rule of President Kaunda. In 1990 Chiluba founded the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, a coalition of unions, civic groups, and churches, and the following year he won Zambia's first democratic, mulitparty election for president. In office, he allowed greater political freedom and moved to aid the ailing economy, steering toward a free-market system and promoting foreign investment. His admimistration, however, became corrupt and politically repressive; Kaunda was arrested several times and prevented from running in 1996, when Chiluba was reelected. Ineligible for a third term, he stepped down in 2001. In 2002 Chiluba, who had become known for a lavish lifestyle, was charged with stealing public funds and laundering millions of stolen dollars. Sued in civil court in Great Britain and tried in criminal court in Zambia, he lost the first (2007) but was acquitted in the second (2009). He disputed the jurisdiction of the British court and lived in Zambia until his death.

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