President Levy Mwanawasa remains in intensive care at a hospital in the
Egyptian resort town of Sharm El Sheikh where he suffered a stroke Sunday while
attending pre-African Union summit meetings. Zambian Vice President Rupiah Banda said in a statement earlier that
President Mwanawasa was being attended to by doctors and that his condition is
Zambian Information Minister Mike Mulongoti told VOA President Mwanawasa, who is 59, has had a history of
country has been informed that the president had a stroke. He's in
the hospital in Sham el-Sheikh in Egypt, that he is out of danger. He is quite
stable. It is a known fact
that has been hypertensive. I think it could be part of the reason why this
could have delivered," he said.
Mulongoti said President
Mwanawasa has been working long hours to bring development to Zambia.
"Our president is a very
hard working man. It's not the question of him going to Egypt. Even back home
he has a very heavy schedule and this could have contributed. We sincerely
believe that his commitment to the development of the country was on top of his
agenda. So he spent all his time working very hard. We were in fact worried
that he was not giving time for him to take some rest," Mulongoti said.
He said President Mwanawasa
had just completed by-elections campaign swing in the eastern part of the
country before traveling to Egypt for the AU summit.
"You know when you are
committed to your development agenda, it becomes difficult for you to
appreciate that you could be hurting yourself.
We had just come from campaigning in a by-election in the eastern part
of Zambia. And he was relaxed for a few days, and then from there he came back
to Lusaka and he came off to Egypt. So first of all, that pressure was too
much," Mulongoti said.
Sometimes strokes can lead
to paralysis and speech impairment. Mulongoti said he does not think President
Mwanawasa had been speaking since the stroke.
"I don't think so because he
is in the intensive care. So I don't think it would be possible for people to
expect him to be speaking," he said.
Mulongoti said Zambians are
praying for their president to get well soon.
"They are concerned that
their president is not well, and they expect that he will recover quickly and
be able to join them and continue with his responsibilities to ensuring that
Zambia develop, and that the worth of the people improve," Mulongoti said.
He said Vice President
Rupiah Banda has meanwhile taken charge of the leadership of the country in
line with the constitution.