For the last hour my blackberry is buzzing with (sms) unconfirmed information from Zambians in the US, that President Mwanawasa has died in Paris, though no news outlet has posted this information.
Bloomberg has this....
"July 2 (Bloomberg) -- Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa was flown to France last night for specialist treatment after suffering a mild stroke in Egypt on June 29, Vice-President Rupiah Banda said.
Mwanawasa was moved to a Paris hospital where he will undergo ``further medical treatment,'' Banda said in a statement in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, late yesterday."
My prayers are for our beloved Mwanawasa to recover, as grim as the prognosis of suffering two strokes, any other outcome is hard to come to grips with and indeed casts doubt on the future of our nation and the constitutional, political, economic and structural progression Zambia has made under Mwanawasa.
Vice President Rupiah Banda hardly strikes me as a reformer, he has certainly had his time from the UNIP era to a period of retirement. He lacks the necessary grip on contemporary and future challenges Zambia faces, in the wake of recent government and economic restructuring.
Would he provide the leadership Zambia needs to rein in the mines in order to bring Zambians benefits through taxation and fair employment opportunities?
Would he follow through with government restucturing, to make service delivery to average Zambians more responsive and effective?
Would he deliver the constitution, we have being crying out for?
On the opposition side, Michael Sata is equally ill equiped for our time in both health and idealogy.
UPND's Hakainde Hichilema may have youth and progressive ideas but his party lacks the grassroot framework and support to deliver him the presidency.
It maybe to the outcome of the battle between the old and the young Turks in the MMD to carry the mantle.
As Cho the Zambian economist/seer has outlined here the levers of our current constitution are clear.
Within MMD, Prof Clive Chirwa and Dr. Nevers Mumba may have to prove between them who has the grip and proximity to the MMD party machinery.
For this moment however, my duty as every Zambian is to pray for our President Mwanawasa and our first lady Maureen and the family that is our beloved nation.