Former Train Station Janitor to be New Zambian President

Posted September 22nd, 2011 at 9:37 pm (UTC-5)
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A man who at one time swept the floors of London's Victoria Station will be Zambia's new president.

Michael Sata was elected Friday on his fourth try at the top office after serving as a minister for two other Zambian presidents.

The 74 year-old Mr. Sata was born Zambia when it was the British colony called Northern Rhodesia. He was a train station porter, a trade union official, and a policeman before entering politics in the early 1960s. His posts included health minister and labor minister before he broke with the ruling party to form his opposition Patriotic Front.

Mr. Sata's supporters nicknamed him “King Cobra” for his fiery speeches and for what they say his ability for getting problems solved and things done. He appealed to millions of Zambians who still live in poverty, despite the nation's copper wealth.

Mr. Sata accused outgoing President Rupiah Banda of being soft on corruption and once threatened to expel Chinese investors in Zambian mines after Chinese mine managers allegedly brutalized workers.