President Edgar Lungu has arrived in South Africa for medical attention after he was taken ill on Sunday.The President touched down at Lanseria International Airport near Johannesburg at about 17:00 hours and immediately drove to Millpark Hospital to visit former Chimwemwe Member of Parliament, Mr. Willie Nsanda, who is admitted to the health facility.
Mr. Lungu, who flew in with his Presidential plane, was accompanied by First Lady, Mrs. Esther Lungu; his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, Mr. Amos Chanda and other government officials. He was received by State House Deputy Minister, Mr. Mulenga Sata, who had arrived in advance; Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa,Mr. Muyeba Chikonde and his wife, Mrs. Musonda Chikonde and other staff from the Mission.
The President was happy to see that Mr. Nsanda was showing good signs of recovery. Both Mr. Lungu and the First Lady encouraged Mr. Nsanda to remain determined and place his faith in God.
Mr. Lungu further narrated events around his illness to Mr. Nsanda and pointed out that he had come to South Africa for medical attention.
He regretted that Mr. Nsanda missed part of the campaign period for the 20th January Presidential elections.
The President later gave an interview to SABC in the hospital grounds during which reporter, Sophie Mokoena, noted that it was extra-ordinary that a head of state has been as forth-coming and open as Mr. Lungu about his health status.
In response, Mr. Lungu observed that Zambia was coming from a situation where it lost two of its presidents and that it was therefore important to be as open as possible about such matters.
He told the reporter that he was feeling fine and was fit to work or even run but that he had to follow doctors’ advice for him to seek medical attention. He said he would be the first one to tell the nation if at all he felt that he was not in good health to handle the office of head of state.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has thanked his South African counterpart, President Jacob Zuma, for making available the medical facilities and for the warm reception that he, together with his delegation, have received. He said this goes to emphasise the cordial relations that exist between the two countries.