Zambia’s fourth President Rupiah Bwezani Banda has been diagnosed with cancer of the colon but has not disclosed whether the disease is in the initial stages or advanced.
According to a statement issued by Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Fourth Republican President Chibeza Nfuni, Mr. Banda said he has decided to disclose his condition because the Zambian people deserved to know.
“I have been moved to make this announcement taking into consideration that, although, this is a personal and private matter, which was initially only known by my close relatives, including my two sisters, Mrs Velesi Katema and Mrs Seba Zulu, my younger brother Mr James Banda and my children here in Zambia and diaspora, led by my eldest son James Banda, the Zambian People, who honoured me with the privilege to serve them as Head of State, for which I will remain forever grateful and indebted, deserve to know that I have been diagnosed with cancer of the colon, read the statement.
Mr Banda said that as the nation knows, he lost his first wife Hope Makulu Banda to cancer and as fate would have it his second wife Thandiwe Chilongo Banda is a cancer survivor, and hope to rely on her counsel and encouragement.
“My wife Thandiwe Chilongo Banda is a cancer survivor, therefore her counsel and encouragement and support born out of her own experience, after having successfully battled this type of disease, is a great source of inspiration and comfort to me,’ he said
The former head of state further disclosed that he has been receiving treatment from his doctor Dr Shaileni Desai for some months now, and acknowledged the assistance he has received from the Government.
“Am very grateful to, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for his personal support and that of the government in facilitating for my treatment.”
The former head of state has further appealed to Zambians for support saying:
“So as I continue to battle against this terrible disease, I ask for your prayers and with the grace of God, I will be able to overcome”