Zambian President suffers heart attack at AU summit in Egypt

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President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia was rushed to hospital in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh late Sunday after a health emergency, it is reported today.

Mwanawasa is in Egypt to attend the African Union summit, had experienced sharp chest pains but was in a stable condition.

Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kabinga Pande issued a statement late last night revealed Mwanawasa’s condition.

He said “I wish to inform the nation that today, the 29th June, His Excellency, the President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa, has been admitted to Sharm-EL-Sheikh International Hospital for high blood pressure,” Mr Pande said.

He said the nation would be kept informed of his condition from time to time.

Reports from both Egypt and Zambia say Mwanawasa appeared to have suffered a heart problem and a third mentioned high blood pressure.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt visited him in hospital.

Mwanawasa was expected to be flown to Cairo, where better medical care is available.

Way back in 1992, while still vice president Mwanawasa was almost killed in a suspicious car accident that sent him to hospital in South Africa for almost a year with severe head injuries.

He had been driving alone at night without a driver or bodyguard when the accident occurred in mysterious circumstances.

Opposition politicians seized on his sometimes slurred and slow speech and occasional lapses in syntax as an indication that he was physically unwell and could not handle the heavy duties of a president.

Although Mwanawasa vigourously denied these allegation and sad he is “fit as a fiddle” the suspicions gained notoriety.

The word “vegetable” caught on and quickly became “cabbage”.

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