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I am not dead, says Zambia president

2014-09-19 15:22

Lusaka - Zambia's elusive President Michael Sata made a rare public appearance on Friday, opening a new session of parliament and declaring "I am not dead".

The 77-year-old leader, who until recent campaign events had not been seen in public for three months, appeared with his wife, Christine, whom he thanked for keeping him going.

"She has made me stay up to now, I am not dead," he said, his voice cracking.

Sata took power in 2011 is rumoured to be seriously ill, an allegation his office denies.

Analysts say a power struggle is already underway behind the scenes for Zambia's top job.

Sata's address on Friday was punctuated by jokes, but he did not read the whole address, leaving the full written version for the record.

"I thank you for listening and I am leaving the whole speech to the Speaker," he said before officially opening parliament.

Sata had said his government would focus on improving the agriculture sector and building new accommodation for the country's students.

"Agriculture is key towards poverty reduction and our government continues to give priority to national food security," he said.

Last week state television showed him briefly speaking at a political rally.

Comments
  • sthembize.zulu - 2014-09-19 15:35

    It's high time Africa starts embracing the younger generation and younger leaders

      Chris May - 2014-09-19 18:33

      Yes, Mageba - in some ways. But not very young. We go through stages and to make a young young person a leader is like taking their joy away. Can we force balance on a person while they have yet to jump around and be happy and creative? There is a balance though. Put old wisdom and new enthusiasm - with a bit of middle=aged mediocrity and balance = it will work out.

      Ted Withers - 2014-09-19 22:50

      I agree with Chris. Look at Malema, from his account he didn't have enjoyable childhood to the extent of not performing well at High school. He sure did not receive proper guidance hence his endless insults. He still needs time to learn wide ranging life aspects. Imagine what kind of moral would be exemplified to SA nation if he were to be president.

  • Aqua BlueAfrica - 2014-09-19 16:00

    yeah how tf can you run the country as a ghost. .now you see him. .now you don't! it's high time the intellect of voters including the younger ones starts kicking in and vote for true active leaders with high morels,a need to advance their country above all. .not their own back pockets!

  • Vladimir Pappas M - 2014-09-19 17:22

    Typical of African leaders who always want to die while in power... he should be retired by now and spend time teaching and grooming upcoming leaders, thus giving back to the community... old man you have no shame

  • Kholo Warren Jesus - 2014-09-19 18:26

    the old and the useless.

  • Beicime Olfsun - 2014-09-20 12:44

    I can't imagine a leader of any developed nation having to make such a pathetic statement.

  • Nesty Mdala - 2014-09-26 12:44

    You Zambians,why wishing someone dead? God forbid! This only reminds me the time when our late and beloved Bingu waMutharika was alive i.e Malawi's then state president from 2004-2012

  • Nesty Mdala - 2014-09-26 12:47

    You Zambians why wishing somebody dead? God forbid! This only reminds me the time our late and beloved president(2004-2012) Prof. Bingu waMutharika was alive. It seems Malawian politics is similar to that of Zambia.......

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