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Zambians Mourn at Sata's Funeral

  • VOA News

Flags fly at half-staff as the funeral cortege for the late Zambian President Michael Sata arrives for a memorial service in the capital Lusaka, Zambia, Nov. 10, 2014.

Flags fly at half-staff as the funeral cortege for the late Zambian President Michael Sata arrives for a memorial service in the capital Lusaka, Zambia, Nov. 10, 2014.

Some 50,000 mourners have filled Zambia's Heroes Stadium for the funeral of President Michael Sata, who died two weeks ago after a long illness.

Several African leaders were among the attendees who filled the stadium to capacity, including the heads of state of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar, and Namibia.

Sata died October 28 while hospitalized in London. For months, officials in the southern African nation had denied that Sata was sick, although he made several trips abroad for medical help.

Sata had led Zambia since winning an election in 2011 that ended the 20 years of rule by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy party.

Zambian Vice President and interim president Guy Scott said a presidential election will be held within 90 days.

Scott is not eligible to run for president because his parents were from Scotland. Last month, however, the Zambian government presented lawmakers with a new draft constitution that would eliminate the Zambian-born parent requirement for candidates.

Scott became sub-Saharan Africa's first white leader in 20 years after being named interim president following Sata's death.

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