Chiluba’s wife says hubby tormented

The distraught Regina said the ongoing court cases, dragging over four years in which the former head of state has been charged jointly with several others for theft by public servant involving more than US$500, 000 have tormented him greatly leading to sleepless nights.

Speaking on July 23 during a church service she and her husband attended at the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) in one of Lusaka’s sprawling townships, Mandevu, Regina said the continued trial had caused sleepless nights for the 61-year-old leader and that he was forced to attend court despite being frail.

“The ongoing court cases have contributed greatly to Dr. Chiluba’s heart problem because for several months he was spending sleepless nights trying to understand what was happening to him,” she told congregants as she also sought permission from her husband to reveal more of the contents of the medical report.

“Even when he was attending court he was very weak. When we were leaving for South Africa he could hardly walk.”

She explained that Chiluba’s heart was functioning at 12 percent capacity by the time they reached South Africa for medical attention at Garden City Clinic, raising fear that Chiluba was not going to return home alive.

Cardiac specialists say a normal heart worked at between 80 and 100 per cent.

Regina said the problem was compounded further when four days after leaving Zambia in March, Chiluba collapsed and medical staff in South Africa declared him as good as dead and was confined to the Intensive Care Unit for about 21 days.

“Even the doctors at Garden City asked us as to how he was managing to walk but we said well, it was the wish of God.”

Regina said her husband was a living miracle and proof of God’s power over his creations. She said the former head of state was only being sustained by prayers.

Chiluba is has called himself “a walking miracle” and believes that he is alive today thanks to the grace of God.

Speaking on arrival in Lusaka on July 15 Chiluba said he could not believe that he was alive and able to return home because at one stage and while at Garden Clinic, he lost hope when the heart complications became worse and he left his fate in God’s hands.

“For once, I gave up on my life when my heart problem became complicated while in the ICU but the powers of God have seen me until now, thanks to my wife (Regina) for continuously praying for me and giving me hope,”

He added; “My illness has taught me one thing ‘ to have faith in God because he alone knows the destiny of every person.”

Chiluba returns to South Africa’s Garden City Clinic on August 31 for routine review.

On July 26, Chiluba underwent tests at Nkanza laboratory in Lusaka and later had other tests at another clinic in the Zambian capital under the auspices of the government, according to his spokesperson, Emmanuel Mwamba.

Opposition Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata recently accused the government of prematurely discharging Chiluba from Garden Clinic, allegedly to persecute him.

He claimed the state had since lifting Chiluba’s immunity to answer various charges of corruption during the 1991-2001 reign had failed to convict him on the perceived wrongs.

Recently, the Zambian government recalled Chiluba from his hospital base with a pledge to undertake long term programmes relating to the former president’s heart problem. The government in consultation with Chiluba’s doctors has scheduled weekly reviews and tests to monitor the progress over the cardiac problem Chiluba faces.

Chief government spokesperson Vernon Mwaanga, in reacting to Regina’s sentiments said Chiluba’s court appearances would depend on doctors’ advice. Chiluba is due to appear in court on July 28.

July 2006
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