Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mwanawasa 'is not dead'

A Zambian minister has accused South African media of "malice" after they issued reports - later retracted - that Zambia's president had died.
Information Minister Mike Mulongoti said the reports had caused "panic and damage" for Zambians.
President Levy Mwanawasa, 59, is in intensive care at a hospital in Paris after suffering a stroke at an African Union summit in Egypt last weekend.
Vice-President Rupiah Banda said Mr Mwanawasa's condition was stable.......

South Africa's leader has retracted comments in which he said that Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, 59, had died.
President Thabo Mbeki asked for a minute's silence on Thursday but his office later said reports of Mr Mwanawasa's death were "not true".
Zambia's Vice-President Rupiah Banda said Mr Mwanawasa had had a "satisfactory night" in Paris.
He was flown there from Egypt, where he had suffered a stroke on Sunday ahead of an African Union summit.
South African radio earlier quoted a spokesman who said he was from Zambia's High Commission as saying Mr Mwanawasa had died. ( BBC)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Alas Mwanawasa is gone.....

Zambian President Mwanawasa has died -report
Thu 3 Jul 2008, 8:12 GM
JOHANNESBURG, July 3 (Reuters) - Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa died in a Paris hospital on Thursday after suffering a stroke earlier this week, South Africa's Talk Radio 702 reported.
The radio quoted a Zambian High Commission spokesman as saying that Mwanawasa died earlier on Thursday morning. Mwanawasa was taken to hospital in Egypt just before an African Union summit on Monday and Tuesday and then transferred to Paris...
This makes for very sad reading, indeed, we pray for peace and a graceful mourning of our most eminent Leader.
My condolences to the first lady and the family.
God bless our beloved nation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Political posturing: The dynamics of post Mwanawasa politics.

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.