Recent History: What Sata did when Mwanawasa was taken ill

08:20, April 13, 2006

Zambian Minister of Justice has dismissed the request by the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) to investigate the illness of President Levy Mwanawasa, who is in London for medical treatment.

George Kunda made the observation Tuesday in a letter to Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, and copied to Vice President Lupando Mwape, Parliament Speaker Amusaa Mwanamwambwa among others.

In the letter Kaunda said a letter of PF leader Michael Sata is not in line with provisions of articles 36 (1) and 39 (1) of the republican constitution.

In the letter sent to Sakala on April 7 Sata request him to appoint a team of three doctors to investigate Mwanawasa’s illness.

Kaunda said Sata’s request is misconceived in law and fact, and has no legal basis and the cabinet has not made any resolution to investigate the health of Mwanawasa because circumstances that might lead to the cabinet being convened for this purpose, has not arisen.

Zambian chief government spokesperson Vernon Mwaanga on April 7 assured the nation that Mwanawasa, who was flown to London on April 1 for medical review, has made remarkable progress to treatment at a clinic in London.

Mwaanga refuted rumors that the Mwanawasa has suffered a stroke saying such statements were ill delivered and exaggerated, as Vice President Lupando Mwape has maintained regular contact with him since his departure for London a week ago.

The minister said that there is no need for anxiety over his health and assured the nation that he would issue another statement as and when it becomes necessary.

In response to the statement of the chief government opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi said that there is no need for the president to continue staying in London if all is well.

Another opposition the United Party for National Development ( UPND) demanded an explanation on why the head of state is sent to London if he is even exercising.

Mwaanga told the opposition parties not to politicize Mwanawasa ‘s illness, saying that the government’s decision to fly the president to London is based on professional medical recommendation.

Meanwhile a constituency aspiring parliamentary candidate of the ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy has urged Sata to desist from making political capital out of president’s illness.

Source: Xinhua

TIMES OF ZAMBIAN VERSION:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

President Mwanawasa back at work 
PRESIDENT Mwanawasa yesterday resumed his duties after undergoing treatment in a London hospital following a minor stroke he suffered recently with an assurance that he was feeling okay although he had not fully recovered.

Making his first public appearance since returning from London where he was taken on March 31, an elated Mr Mwanawasa said though he had resumed light duties, he was not fully recovered.

He said this at State House yesterday when he swore in a Cabinet minister, four deputy ministers, four permanent secretaries and a State House aide.

Mr Mwanawasa who throughout the ceremony appeared to be in a jovial mood announced immediately after the new appointees took oath that he had resumed light duties.

�Let me take this opportunity to announce that I have today (Tuesday) resumed light duties although I am not fully recovered,� he said amid applause from the ministers and other senior Government officials who witnessed the ceremony.

Chief Government spokesperson, Vernon Mwaanga, was happy that the President, who had been subjected to ridicule by some opposition political parties had resumed light duties putting to rest wild speculation on his health.

Since Mr Mwanawasa�s trip to London that coincided with his routine medical check up, there had been growing speculation among some opposition parties and the civil society that he would not return to work.

Patriotic Front leader, Michael Sata, wrote to Chief Justice Ernest Sakala to appoint a three-man tribunal to probe Mr Mwanawasa�s illness, a move that was shot down at a point of law.

Justice Minister, George Kunda, in his reaction to Mr Sata�s demands said need had not arisen to compel Government to invoke such provisions of the law.

Mr Sata further threatened to sue Vice-President, Lupando Mwape, for refusing to convene Cabinet to discuss the President�s health.

Mr Mwanawasa returned home on April 22, and thanked Zambians for the prayers they rendered for him and his family during his time of illness.

[Times of Zambia]

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