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3 July 2008
Posted to the web 3 July 2008

Top Zambian officials are denying reports that President Levy Mwanawasa has died, news agencies reported Thursday.

Mwanawasa was transferred to a French hospital after suffering a stroke in Egypt on the eve of this week’s African Union summit.

A Johannesburg radio station said on Thursday that a Zambian diplomat in South Africa had confirmed Mwanawasa’s death, but Reuters reported later from Lusaka that Vice President Rupiah Banda had issued a statement saying the report was not true.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) said Zambian Information Minister Mike Mulongoti made a special radio and television broadcast in which he said: “We spoke with the people at Mwanawasa’s bedside a few minutes ago, including his wife, Maureen, who said President Mwanawasa was still alive and breathing.”

However, dpa quoted other, unnamed Zambian sources as saying the reports were true and Banda had called a special cabinet meeting. Mulongoti said the government would issue another bulletin on Mwanawasa’s condition early Thursday evening.

Source: allAfrica