The Politics of President's Health in Zambia

Pan African Vision's Ajong Mbapndah talks to Gershom Ndhlovu about the politics around the sickness and death of Zambia's president Michael Sata:

President Michael Sata recently passed away in London and it appears his health and medical condition where shrouded in secrecy, why were Zambians not notified of the Presidents failing health?

[Gershom Ndhlovu]: An online publication, Zambian Watchdog, alerted the nation to President Michael Sata’s failing health more than two years before he passed on. It is the same publication that could expose the secretive treatments abroad that he used to take. Both senior government officials and ruling party cadres were not happy with the publication for keenly following and exposing Mr Sata’s condition and there were many attempts to shut down the online publication which was at times blocked for access to people in Zambia.

On the question of why, obviously the government and the party wanted to show that the President was healthy and discharging his functions. They probably did not want to admit the fact because of a constitutional clause which calls for the removal of the office holder, once declared unfit by a medical board if called by Cabinet. In fact, one citizen attempted to compel Cabinet to call for such a board through the High Court but his application was dismissed.

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