Reports that Zambia President Michael Sata had died first surfaced late night on Tuesday, Oct. 28 for those located in the U.S. and on Wednesday morning for those located in Zambia, Africa. The news may have shocked many as any illness the president was facing appeared to have been hidden from public knowledge, although certain events had also seemed to indicate otherwise.
Born Michael Chilufya Sata, he was the fifth president of the Republic of Zambia. Clement Malambo, of Zambia Reports stated Sata was in London when he had passed away after possibly receiving medical attention there for the past week. He reportedly died at 2100 hours on Tuesday, Oct. 28, Zambia time.
Malambo stated the health of President Sata had been under scrutiny after reports had surfaced which conflicted with statements made by government officials. Sata however, had missed a general assembly for the United Nations (U.N.) and left Zambia two days before the country was due to celebrate its 50 year anniversary of independence.
Malambo also reported that Edgar Lungu, who is the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Defense had been acting as sitting president during his departure. It was unknown, however, if Lungu would continue this role as the Zambian Watchdog reported the remaining cabinet members were to meet at 5:00 A.M. on Wednesday to discuss transfer of power to Vice-President, Guy Scott.
In fact, according to the Daily Mail Online, Chris Mfula of Reuters stated that Scott is already considered Head of State for Zambia, which puts him as the first white leader in Africa since around 20 years ago. Mfula stated Scott will be interim leader for at least three months until presidential elections take place. Scott is ineligible to run for president because his parents were not born in Zambia, Mfula had reported.
Zambia President Michael Sata has died and the Huffington Post stated Sata was believed to have been sick since at least June. He reportedly disappeared from public view without stating any reason and was believed to have traveled to Israel at that time. It was speculated he may have been seeking medical treatment there.
The Huffington Post also stated Sata was in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, but had missed it reportedly because he fell ill in his hotel. Afterward, he was reportedly seen in public after his arrival in Zambia from New York in late September, but then disappeared from public view thereafter. Prior to showing up in New York, he had joked that he was still alive.
President Sata was 77 years old and was reportedly surrounded by his family at the time of his death, which includes his wife and three sons, according to Zambian Watchdog. He was at the King Edward VII Hospital in Central London where he was believed to have been hospitalized since Oct.19 before he passed away.
President Michael Sata has died and Mfula stated he was known as “King Cobra” for his sharp tongue. The reason for his passing has reportedly remained undisclosed. He was in charge of Africa’s second largest copper production since 2011.
By Liz Pimentel