Zambian President Sata 'dies in London'

Zambian President Sata 'dies in London'

Zambian President Michael Sata has died after receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness, family sources and Zambian media say.


President Sata, who was being treated in the UK for the past week, died on Tuesday night,Zambia Reports said.

It said that he died after "a sudden onset [of] heightened heart rate".

It is not immediately clear who will succeed the president. The issue may be decided by the Zambian cabinet which meets on Wednesday morning.

Earlier this month reports in Zambia said that President Sata had gone abroad for a medical check-up amid persistent speculation that he was seriously ill.

After he left the country, Defence Minister Edgar Lungu was named as acting president but it is not certain he will take over for a longer period, because media reports have suggested that he may fall foul of a constitutional clause on parentage which would nullify his candidacy.

Known as "King Cobra" for his venomous tongue, Mr Sata was elected Zambia's president in 2011.

He has rarely been seen in public since returning from the UN General Assembly last month, where he failed to make a scheduled speech.

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