In Zambia, former President Frederick Chiluba has applied to a magistrate court hearing graft charges against him for an immediate release of his passport to enable him travel to South Africa for his medical review of his heart condition. His request comes as an adhoc committee of doctors set up to determine whether he is fit to stand trial or not recommended that the former president is not fit to stand trial for corruption charges leveled against him.
Emmanuel Mwamba is the spokesman for the former Zambian President. He spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about Chiluba’s application for the release of his passport.
“This application was necessitated by the personal physician attending to Dr. Chiluba. He fears that Dr. Chiluba has deteriorated in the last two weeks so he demanded the copy of the findings of the adhoc committee that the court ordered to examine Dr. Chiluba. And the findings are just like what the personal physician treating Dr. Chiluba fears are. The findings are grave and serious and established that Dr. Chiluba has developed even a new condition called the heart block that might require a pace maker and this might aggravate his already ailing heart,” Mwamba noted.
He says the report suggests that the former President cannot stand trial for the corruption charges leveled against him.
“The report, which was availed to the personal physician Dr. Kangua, clearly states in no uncertain terms that Dr. Chiluba is unfit to attend court. It further states that Dr. Chiluba require immediate evacuation, it states that he is not fit to stand trial in person, in camera or by video link,” Mwamba said.
He says the former president’s application for the release of his passport must be treated with urgency.
“This could not wait, remember after government becoming aware of the findings of the doctors they immediately began the evacuation of Dr. Chiluba, which was canceled by the task force on corruption. So now our lawyers had to bring this matter to court urgently. It is a pity that the matter has not been herd up to today. But the application was made on Wednesday…. Because a certificate of urgency was attached to the application,” he said.
Mwamba says they are requesting the Mwanawasa led government to expedite the former presidents evacuation to South Africa for his medical review.
“We are requesting that government treat this evacuation with all urgency because the condition of Dr. Chiluba is serious as noticed by his doctor attending to him and noticed by a panel of specialized doctors at a university teaching hospital,” he said.
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