Mwanawasa starts light duties after stroke

LUSAKA – Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has resumed “light duties” after suffering a minor stroke in April that had raised questions over his ability to campaign in presidential elections expected later this year.

Mwanawasa told state television he had yet to fully rec

over after receiving treatment in London for what doctors said was a light stroke on April 1.

“I wish to say today I have resumed light duties. I am not yet well, but as you can see I am able to stand on my two feet,” the 57-year-old Mwanawasa said late on Tuesday.

Mwanawasa appeared in public to swear in a new cabinet minister, some permanent secretaries and deputy ministers he had appointed before his stroke.

Earlier, influential opposition leader Michael Sata wrote to the chief justice asking him to explain Mwanawasa’s condition.

Mwanawasa, who heads the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy, is eligible for a second and final five year term in presidential elections later this year.

He is expected to face a stiff challenge from an opposition alliance led by wealthy businessman Anderson Mazoka, whom he narrowly defeated in 2001. — Reuter