Zambia’s president Michael Sata dies in London

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The Zambian president, Michael Sata, has died in London where he was

being treated in a private hospital for an undisclosed illness, the

Zambian government has confirmed.

Sata died shortly after 11pm on Tuesday at London’s King Edward VII

hospital, the cabinet secretary Roland Msiska said in a statement.

Sata’s wife, Christine Kaseba, and his son, Mulenga Sata, were at the

77-year-old president’s side when he died, Msiska said.

The statement said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I address you

today, to inform the nation that our beloved president and leader, His

Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has passed on.

“President Sata’s demise is deeply regretted. During this difficult

period, I urge all of you to remain calm, united and peaceful during

this very difficult period.”

Under Zambia’s constitution the country will have to hold an election

for a new leader within 90 days of the death of the president.

Sata, 77, left Zambiafor medical treatment on 19 October accompanied

by his wife and family members, according to a brief government

statement that gave no further details.

There had been no official update on his condition and the acting

president, Edgar Lungu, led celebrations last week to mark the

landlocked nation’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Concern over Sata’s health has been mounting in Africa’s

second-largest copper producer since June when he disappeared from the

public eye without explanation and was reported to be getting medical

treatment in Israel.

He missed a scheduled speech at the UN general assembly in September

amid reports that he had fallen ill in his New York hotel.

A few days before that he had attended the opening of parliament in

Lusaka, joking: “I am not dead.”

Sata had not been seen in public since he returned to Zambia from New

York in late September.

The prime minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda, and the president of

Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, were among the first world leaders to

express their condolences.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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