"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Zambia and Malawi discuss anti-graft crusades

Lusaka - Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika and his Zambian counterpart Levy Mwanawasa Tuesday discussed their respective crusades against graft which have led to political repercussions for both leaders.

Mutharika told reporters after a closed-door meeting with Mwanawasa that "corruption is a cancer which must be fought by all governments," and pledged to continue the crackdown against graft.

"We are following the footsteps of Zambia in the fight against corruption," Zambian state radio quoted Mutharika as saying.

The two presidents held private talks in Ndola, a small Zambian mining town about 400km north of the capital Lusaka.

Mwanawasa and Mutharika have both launched vigorous anti-corruption crusades that have targeted their respective predecessors Frederick Chiluba and Bakili Muluzi.

Mutharika had faced impeachment proceedings after the dragnet was widened to include his predecessor and now estranged mentor.

Malawian prosecutors have charged Muluzi with 42 counts of corruption, theft and breach of trust for allegedly siphoning off $12-million of aid funds into a private bank account between 1999 and 2004.

Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba faces charges of stealing $507 000 in state funds.

Chiluba went on trial in December 2003 in one of Africa's most high-profile corruption cases but the proceedings became bogged down in procedural problems and the case was dropped almost a year later.

He was later re-arrested and went on trial again in November 2004, charged with stealing $488 000 in state funds.

Mwanawasa's support in northern Zambia, Chiluba's birthplace, waned after the former president went on trial. - Sapa-AFP

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