Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, who is hospitalized in
France after suffering a stroke during the African Union summit in Egypt, is
expected to undergo a second medical review Monday. Informing the country over the weekend,
Zambian Vice President Rupiah Banda said President Mwanawasa continues to
receive treatment for hypertension.
Meanwhile, the South African government
has reportedly said it has launched an investigation into who might have given President Thabo
Mbeki the information that President Mwanawasa had died. President Mbeki
observed a moment of silence last Thursday at a tribute to victims of
Some Zambians told VOA they are a bit confused about the actual state
of their president's health.
situation as being portrayed by our minister of information and broadcasting is
quite confusing because initially the BBC had announced that Mwanawasa was
dead, and the vice chairperson of SADC (Southern African Development Community)
Mr. Thabo Mbeki had announced that Mwanawasa was actually dead. The government
must announce exactly what the condition of our president is. If he's in a
coma, which we want to believe, because some doctor says that when someone is
struck by a stroke, and it strikes again for the second, usually the person
does not survive," said Ng'oma, a retired Zambian.
Banda, a law student at the University of Zambia, said Zambians were satisfied
with whatever information their government was giving them about President
Mwanawasa's health because they trust their officials.
at least government has been able to up date us on the health status of the
president. For example, a while ago we were briefed that the president is
scheduled to attend a review tomorrow (Monday). Most churches in Lusaka had
been conducting prayers for the president. For example, I for one this morning
attended on church service where we dedicated prayers for the quick recovery of
the president," Banda said.
of parliament Robby Chizyuka said President Mwanawasa is well loved by the
Zambian people judging from the many prayers being offered in his honor. But Chizyuka said he was perplexed by the
misinformation about President Mwanawasa's health.
do not know the source of the misinformation regarding the president's illness.
Even the name that President Thabo Mbeki indicated as having being the source
of the information he used to announced at a rally that President Mwananwasa
was dead is a name that does not belong to the South African Embassy. So we're
somewhat taken aback that this announcement had to come from South Africa
before confirmation with Zambian colleagues. At the level of the South African
president, one would expect that there exists a mechanism for confirmation and
reconfirmation of information of this nature," Chizyuka said
Imakando, a Lusaka taxi driver, said the international media should apologize
to Zambians for saying that their president was dead.
now I'm quite confused because we've got distorted information. The
international media says our president has actually died. But what we have on
the ground right now is that our president is living although he's in a
critical situation. If that is true that our president is living, let the
international media apologize for misinforming us," Imakando said.