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Ex-Zambian President Leaves for Treatment in South Africa


Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba is expected to leave for South Africa today (Friday) to seek a medical review about his aggravated heart condition. This comes after President Mwanawasa’s government completed arrangements to enable the former president to seek medical check up abroad. A team of doctors recently warned that former President Chiluba’s heart condition could be jeopardized if he did not seek medical review abroad. Chiluba is facing graft charges for allegedly stealing about 46million dollars from the country’s coffers, during his presidency from 1991 to 2001.

Emmanuel Mwamba is the spokesman for the former president. From the capital, Lusaka he tells reporter Peter Clottey that all is set for former President Chiluba’s medical trip to South Africa

“All arrangements are complete. The court in Zambia released his passport to enable him to travel, and government has completed his preparations to enable Dr. Chiluba to travel to South Africa to obtain specialist medical treatment. He is expected to leave today at 13 hours Zambian hours time. He is expected to be in South Africa for two weeks,” Mwamba noted.

He said a team of Zambian doctors suggested the former president undergo a medical review abroad after he collapsed at home.

“You will remember that Dr. Chiluba on May 24, 2007 collapsed and he was admitted at the University Teaching Hospital for a period of five days. So the doctors recommended that he needed to go to South Africa to do a complete evaluation to assess what caused the collapse, and if there are any dangers to his health, is he relapsing? They need to make all those determinations,” he pointed out.

Mwamba said although the former president showed signs of progress, his health has sharply declined recently.

“You will remember that last year, after undergoing further treatment for at least one year, Dr. Chiluba showed remarkable improvement, but, however the last two months he seems to have shown some marked deterioration. So this is what the doctors in South Africa would be treating, and I think attempting to halt any further deterioration and ensure that he is back on the road to recovery,” Mwamba said.

He explained that the former president would under go some tests to ascertain his heart condition.

“He suffers from a cardiological problem, he has a heart condition that he has been treated for, for the last one year. Essentially, it relates to his heart,” he said.

Mwamba said Chiluba’s graft trial has been planned for next month.

“The trial is scheduled to begin next month 13th August 2007. We hope that Dr. Chiluba would have come back to Zambia, and he would attend trial… Mrs. Chiluba would accompany the former president, his personal physician and myself and some security officials would be accompanying the former president,” he said.

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