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ZAMBIA’S President Levy Mwanawasa will not pardon his corruption-tainted predecessor despite numerous requests.

Mwanawasa said he will allow due process of the law to take its course in various cases involving former president Frederick Chiluba, 65, accused of stealing millions of dollars in state funds during his 10-year tenure.

“I have not seen or considered any reasons why I should exercise my discretion to forgive Chiluba,” Mwanawasa said when he swore in a newly-appointed deputy chief justice.

“I am not prepared to abdicate my responsibility and interfere with the rule of law.”

He said a number of people had approached him to consider dropping the corruption cases against Chiluba, who has been battling with deteriorating health after suffering a cardiac complication.

“Chiluba is a good friend of mine. If he is acquitted by the courts of law, we will all be glad,” the president said.

Last year, Mwanawasa indicated that he would pardon Chiluba and drop corruption charges against him if he returned 75% of the funds he allegedly stole from state coffers.

Chiluba is currently on trial for theft of R4million and was interrogated over his role in the alleged theft of R67 million. — Sapa-AFP

Source: The Dispatch – RSA