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Former Zambian Vice President George Kunda Dies

Gift Chanda, a journalist with the Zambia Post newspaper, says Kunda might have died from anemia-related causes

Former Zambian Vice President George Kunda died Monday at the University Teaching Hospital in the capital, Lusaka.

Kunda served as vice president in former President Rupiah Banda's administration before his party lost to current President Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front Party in last September’s election.

Gift Chanda, a journalist with the Zambia Post newspaper, said there has been no official government announcement on the exact cause of Kunda’s death.

“Mr. Kunda passed away in the capital city around 15 hours (Monday) in the University Teaching Hospital, which is the biggest hospital in the country. Both the National Assembly and the University Teaching Hospital managing director confirmed his death,” he said.

Chanda quotes hospital officials as saying the 56-year old Kunda died from anemia-related causes.

He said Kunda campaigned alongside Banda during the 2011 presidential campaign, although it was rumored he was not well at the time.

“During the campaign, yes, he was rumored to have been sick at some point. But, he managed to campaign with the former president, Mr. Rupiah Banda,” Chanda said.

Chanda said, before his death, Kunda was critical of the Sata government’s campaign against corruption, which the late vice president likened to a political witch hunt of former Banda officials.

“One thing to also note is that Mr. Kunda was a strong critic of the government’s strong fight against corruption. He thought that the persecution of former top officials in his party was just a witch hunt and harassment,” Chanda said.