By JAMES KUNDA –
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is in good health and fit enough to carry on discharging the duties of his office, State House has said.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said in an exclusive interview in Lusaka yesterday that Mr Lungu was fine and merely undertook a routine medical checkup while on his recent working visit to South Africa.
Mr Chanda said Mr Lungu had a team of physicians based in that country and after talks with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, the President’s handlers took advantage of the visit for him to undergo a routine medical checkup.
He said the two leaders would continue their discussions which largely affected the welfare of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), when Mr Ramaphosa visited Zambia soon.
Mr Chanda said if, for any reason, the President was unwell, his office would, in the interest of transparency, inform the nation as the health of a sitting Head of state was of great public interest.
He said the medical records and information of any person, including the President were governed by ethical and legal considerations, hence not every medical issue surrounding President Lungu could be for public knowledge.
He said the presidency was taken aback by the ill will against President Lungu being perpetrated by the opposition and some local tabloids.
Mr Chanda said the culture of politicians purveying ill wishes as a matter of political strategy was alarming, undignified and adrift of established social norms of the Zambian society.
“The tabloids rejoicing in this ill-will must be ashamed, because as frontline agents of public information, they must participate in debate that engenders national unity and cohesion and desist from alarmist reportage which does not serve any purpose. It is beneath the dignity of any right-thinking person to concoct supposed illness and wish others ill with a view to achieve political success,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda recalled that none of the ill-wishes against the presidency of late Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata ever benefited anyone in ascending to office.
Mr Chanda challenged National Democratic Congress (NDC) spokesperson Eric Chanda to tell the nation of the health afflictions on the opposition party’s political consultant Chishimba Kambwili.
This was in reaction to Mr Chanda’s statement that Mr Kambwili was unwell and in need of specialist medical treatment abroad.