Mainza Chona

Zambian Prime Minister
Born Jan 21, 1930

Mainza Mathias Chona was a Zambian politician and diplomat. He served as Vice President of Zambia between 1970 and 1973 and Prime Minister on two occasions: 25 August 1973 to 27 May 1975 and 20 July 1977 to 15 June 1978. He was also the Secretary General of the ruling party, UNIP between 1978 and 1981. This position was the de facto 2nd in command in the hierarchy of Zambian politics during the period of the One Party Participatory State (1973–1991).… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Mainza Chona.

  • Freedom Fighter Kaunda's Monument Mounted In Chilenje Mmegi Online
    Google News - May 27, 2011
  • 'luapulans Will Shock Opposition' Zambia Daily Mail
    Google News - May 24, 2011
  • Ex Leaders Want Atom Tests Halted During Talks
    NYTimes - Apr 28, 1985
  • Zambia Realigns Its Top Officials For Second Time In Two Months
    NYTimes - Feb 19, 1981


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Mainza Chona.


1930 Birth Mainza Mathias Chona was born Sikaye Chingula Namukamba on 21 January 1930 at Nampeyo, near Monze in the Southern Province of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (which later became Zambia). … Read More


1951 21 Years Old He completed his secondary education at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka in 1951 and then worked as an interpreter at the High Court in Livingstone. … Read More
1955 25 Years Old In pursuit of his goal, Chona secured a scholarship that took him to London in 1955, where he studied at Gray's Inn.
1958 28 Years Old 1 More Event
He was called to the bar in 1958. … Read More
1959 29 Years Old Chona and other nationalists broke away from the ANC and, in October 1959, Chona became the first president of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the successor to ZANC.


1960 30 Years Old 1 More Event
However, he did not see himself as the party's main founder and he stepped down when Kaunda was released from prison in January 1960. … Read More
1961 31 Years Old In June 1961, Chona was elected National Secretary of UNIP and he remained in that post for eight years.
1963 33 Years Old He was instrumental in securing the short-lived coalition between UNIP and the ANC in January 1963.
1964 34 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 1964, Kaunda formed Northern Rhodesia's first Black cabinet, and gave Chona the post of Minister of Justice in UNIP's pre-independence government.
1966 36 Years Old Between 1966 and 1969, Chona held no less than five different ministerial appointments, including minister without portfolio.
1969 39 Years Old He was sent to the United States as ambassador in 1969.


1970 40 Years Old 1 More Event
He served as Vice President of Zambia from 1970 to 1973 and Prime Minister on two occasions: from 25 August 1973 to 27 May 1975 and from 20 July 1977 to 15 June 1978. … Read More
1972 42 Years Old 1 More Event
Chona's lasting contribution to Zambia's constitutional development was the famous Chona Commission, which was set up under his chairmanship in February 1972 to make recommendations for the constitution of a 'one-party participatory democracy' (i.e. a one-party state). … Read More
1973 - 1977 2 More Events
1978 48 Years Old Kaunda appointed Chona as Secretary-General of UNIP in 1978 and he remained in that position, which ranked second to that of President, until February 1981. … Read More


1984 54 Years Old After he was removed from UNIP's Central Committee, Chona refused an appointment as ambassador to China and returned to private legal practice. In 1984, finally, he agreed to go to Beijing and spent five years there in a period of exile.
1989 59 Years Old He wanted to return to Zambia at the end of his term in China, but Kaunda transferred him to Paris, where he served as ambassador for a further three years, from 1989 to 1992. … Read More


2001 72 Years Old While undergoing dialysis at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mainza Chona died on 11 December 2001. … Read More
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