The Zambian government has reportedly cancelled former president Frederick Chiluba’s trip to South Africa which he was to make Tuesday to seek medical treatment for his heart condition.This is contrary to assurances the government made to facilitate and sponsor Chiluba’s trip. Sources called the government’s action illegal and in contempt of the court’s ruling which cleared the former president to make the trip to South Africa.
Emmanuel Mwamba is the spokesman for former President Chiluba. He spoke about the cancelled trip.
“The trip to South Africa was cancelled an hour before Dr. Chiluba could go to the airport. No reason has been given to us why the trip was cancelled. You are aware that government funds Dr. Chiluba’s trip to South Africa, and yesterday they released air tickets for his travel. We were informed that government had decided not to fund the trip. And in fact we were told that the air tickets given to us were given to us without authority,” he said.
Mwamba said the former president is thinking about funding his OWN medical trip to South Africa. But first, he wants to know the reasons behind the government’s decision to cancel the trip.
“Those are the considerations he will do with his lawyer. To understand government’s decision, we’ve demanded for reasons from government to state exactly why they’ve stopped this trip,” Mwamba noted.
Mwamba said the former president and his wife are distressed because of the government’s action.
“Dr. Chiluba and his wife are deeply saddened by this development. He does not understand why the government is not taking his heart condition as paramount. Everyone had stated that his heart condition is serious. Therefore Dr. Chiluba does not understand why government is playing Russian roulette with his life,” Mwamba said.
He said medicine prescribed by South African doctors for the former president’s heart condition is running low, which he said is detrimental to his health.
“As at today, Dr. Chiluba’s medicine has run out. His current doctor currently treating him in Zambia cannot prescribe new medicine because medical tests have to be done, and decisions have to be made on which medicines should be added or reduced. Our local doctor cannot make a decision of what to give Dr. Chiluba,” he said.
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