I’m on the mend, says Mwanawasa

Speaking in a brief interview at Lusaka’s Mulungushi international Conference Centre Tuesday, Mwanawasa said he was now feeling much better amidst fears that the head of state could be in danger.

“I am feeling better now, as you can see,” said Mwanawasa who was at Mulungushi to launch Zambia’s first ever defence policy.

Later on Wednesday Mwanawasa revealed at State House that he would remain ‘off duty’ until he went back to London for review within three weeks. He was rushed to a London hospital in April when he suffered the stroke and spent three weeks there.

“If the doctors tell me am okay when I go for review in the next three weeks, I will be ready to resume normal duties,” said Mwanawasa.

And speaking when he received credentials from the new Vatican representative to Zambia Archbishop Nicola Garasoli, Mwanawasa said it was amazing that he was recovering so quickly.

“Am surprised that I have made so much progress in my recovery,” he said while thanking the Church for praying for him during his illness.

Some Members of Parliament have been demanding in parliament that government comes clean about Mwanawasa’s condition and whether he is fit enough to continue with his official duties.

The launch of the military policy was Mwanawasa’s second public official duty since he was flown to UK on April 1 and only returned home after 21 days.

At the launch Mwanawasa said the defence policy would be in line with national and regional security.

“This defence policy shall evolve with changes in the national, regional and international defence and security landscape. It shall, however, always reflect commitment by Zambia to promote peace and security by overcoming hostile relationships, advancing military cooperation, non-aggression , non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and advocating for the peaceful settlement of disputes,” said Mwanawasa.

Mwanawasa, who by virtue of being republican president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said the policy which is the first one since Zambia got independence in 1964 makes it clear that the military should always remain royal to the executive.

June 2006
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