Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

27 May 2014

Zambia: Sata's Health Deteriorates Amid Marital Dispute

Following rumours of a medical evacuation of President Michael Sata, sources indicate that President Michael Sata may be planning to travel to the United Kingdom in the coming days to receive treatment.

Unconfirmed sources say that an evacuation was attempted Monday evening, however his state of health was too precarious to board the aircraft.

President Sata's inner circle of advisors are extremely concerned with his state of health and rapid weight loss, which they say has been brought on by stress of an ongoing marital dispute with his wife, the first lady Dr Christine Kaseba.

After attending the World Health Organization summit in Geneva, Switzerland, the First Lady made a detour on her way home to Lusaka, sending her entire security detail, including her aide de camp, to stay in Sweden, while she allegedly made a visit to the United Kingdom alone, prompting rumours of an infidelity. Dr Kaseba finally arrived home on Sunday, the same day that President Sata attended the Africa Freedom Day event and experienced a setback in his health.

"The depression has taken a toll since those differences with the wife," says one source close to State House. "The worry is that it seems to be getting to his head and the Nation is slowly realizing the state of affairs."

The dispute among the first family has created a crisis situation among members of the ruling Patriotic Front cabinet. The majority of ministers and defense chiefs are said to be "panicking" over the situation, as they believe that Vice President Guy Scott would not be acceptable as Acting President, however they have been unable to propose to President Sata that he appoint a new VP for fear of being sacked on the spot. The cabinet called an emergency meeting to address the situation, where it was proposed that President Sata go to London to receive treatment and rest while they worked on the succession plan.

At all recent public functions, President Sata's son, Lusaka Mayor Mulenga Sata, has appeared at his side for all photo opportunities, which is perceived as an attempt to raise profile. At the same time, the party's Secretary General Wynter Kabimba has increased his activities and media exposure.

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