The Zambian government says it has given a British writer 24 hours to leave the country for insulting President Levy Mwanawasa.

Officials said Monday they gave a deportation order to Roy Clarke, a satirist for the privately-owned daily newspaper, The Post.

In his column last week, Mr. Clarke referred to the president as a "foolish elephant," and called his ministers "baboons." The article was published after President Mwanawasa visited a game park for the Christmas holiday.

Mr. Clarke told reporters that he has not been served any notice of the deportation order. He has lived in Zambia for many years.