- Southern Africa
Africa mourns the death of an exemplary President
Zambia’s President Levy Mwanawasa is dead, Vice-President Rupiah Banda announced Tuesday in an address to the nation on the state-run radio and television stations.
Banda said President Mwanawasa died at 10.30 am local time at Percy Military Hospital in Paris, France, where he was admitted after he suffered a stroke.
“It is with deep sorrow that I inform the people of Zambia that our President, Dr. Levy Mwanawasa, passed away this morning at Percy Military Hospital in Paris France at 10.30hours.
“The national mourning begins today and it will be on for seven days. I appeal to all the citizens to remain calm and mourn our president with dignity,” Banda said in the live broadcast.
Mwanawasa, 59, suffered a stroke 29 June while in Egypt where he had gone to attend an African Union (AU) heads of state summit.
A statement issued by Vice President Rupiah Banda Monday, indicated that the team of doctors treating Zambia’s ailing President Levy Mwanawasa in Paris, France, described his condition as serious.
Levy Mwanawasa, who at the time of his illness was chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), will be remembered for his strong fight against corruption; A fight led to the prosecution of second republican president Frederick Chiluba, currently on trial.
President Mwanawasa, who throughout his life has been fighting for the common good of humanity, will also be remembered as being an outspoken critic of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.
As chair of the SADC, the late Zambian president was deeply engaged in in finding a consensus between Mugabe and the opposition MDC, headed by Morgan Tsvangirai, to try to end Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis.