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Former Zambia President Discharged from Hospital


In Zambia, former President Frederick Chiluba was on Monday discharged from hospital where he was being treated for a chronic heart condition. Sources however, say he may still be put on trial for graft charges depending on the report of a team of doctors, which has been instructed by the Zambian government to ascertain whether the former president is fit to stand trial. Emmanuel Mwamba, the spokesman for the former president, said doctors have advised Chiluba to return to the hospital for further treatment and also travel to South Africa for a medical review within the next month. From the capital Lusaka, Mwamba told VOA more about the latest development on the former president’s health.

“He was released this morning at 7:30, he left the hospital after 10 hours, and the doctors informed him that his condition is chronic and requires a lot of rest. He requires closed monitoring and observation. So that is the latest on his condition,” Mwamba said.

He explained what the doctors intend doing about the former president’s poor health.

“They’ve stated that because his condition is chronic, they can only manage it. So he should be taking plenty of bed rest and he should also take light exercises, and the close monitoring is required because then we can prevent like what happened, the collapse or any severe attack on him,” he pointed out.

Mwamba said a team of doctors have examined the former president and would present their findings to a court to determine whether Chiluba was fit to stand trial.

“In fact, because he was admitted to hospital over four days, and has been seen by the same doctors that could have observed him and examined him to generate a report for the court, they would use the period and information gathered during the four days he was in hospital to make a report to court. I don’t know what the report would state, but they would make a report to the court, and the report would be divulged in court on 31st of this month,” he said.

He said President Levy Mwanawasa’s government have announced it would comply with the decision of the team of doctors who have examined the former president.

“They simply stated that they would follow what the doctors would say. If the doctors want him evacuated to South Africa for specialist treatment, they would do that. If the doctors make certain recommendation that would require government obligations, the government would do that. There was a public statement to that effect,” he noted.

Mwamba said the former president’s collapse is a wake up call to all Zambians.

“In fact, these findings are not new. But we began to hope very much when Dr. Chiluba showed a lot of improvement the last two months. His vibrancy came back, and how he looks came back. He had gained weight and he was looking good. We had hoped that probably we were on our way to a good recovery process. But these findings again remind us that this man suffers from a chronic condition and should not be subjected to the stresses that we’ve been subjecting him to,” he said.