Zambian President Michael Sata dies in London

Zambian President Michael
Sata has died at the age of 77
after receiving treatment for
an undisclosed illness, the
government says.
President Sata, who was being
treated in the UK, died in
London’s King Edward VII
hospital on Tuesday night.
Media said that he died after “a
sudden onset [of] heightened
heart rate”.
It is not immediately clear who
will succeed the president. The
issue may be decided by the
Zambian cabinet which meets
on Wednesday morning.
“It is with a heavy heart that I
announce the passing on of our
beloved president,” cabinet
secretary Roland Msiska said.
His death comes just days after
Zambia celebrated the 50th
anniversary of independence
from the UK.
‘King Cobra’
Earlier this month reports in
Zambia said that President Sata
had gone abroad for a medical
check-up amid persistent
speculation that he was
seriously ill.
After he left the country, Defence
Minister Edgar Lungu was
named as acting president.
Vice-President Guy Scott has
regularly stood in for the
president at official events. But
he is of Scottish descent and his
parents were not born in
Zambia, so he may fall foul of a
constitutional clause on
parentage which would nullify
his candidacy.
Known as “King Cobra” for his
venomous tongue, Mr Sata was
elected Zambia’s president in
2011.
He has rarely been seen in public
since returning from the UN
General Assembly last month,
where he failed to make a
scheduled speech.
Mr Sata became president in
September 2011, defeating the
then incumbent Rupiah Banda
whose party had been in power
for 20 years.

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