CAPE TOWN – Zambian leader Edgar Lungu, who is in South Africa for medical tests and possible surgery after he was diagnosed with a blocked windpipe, says he will quit office if his health continues to deteriorate. ”We are coming from a history of having lost two heads of states in office and I think the nation is anxious to know the state of their president, and I thought it’s imperative to come out and explain to them where we are, and if I’m unfit for office I will tell them that sorry, I can’t continue,” Lungu told the SABC on Tuesday.
Lungu, 58, collapsed during an international women’s day event in the capital Lusaka over the weekend and was taken to hospital.
The presidency initially said Lungu was receiving treatment for malaria but then disclosed he was suffering from achalasia.
Achalasia is a rare swallowing disorder affecting the oesophagus. It is a chronic disorder and patients have an increased risk of oesophageal cancer, especially with long-standing untreated achalasia.
Lungu was discharged from hospital late on Monday after a team of seven doctors advised him to undergo specialist treatment abroad to correct his condition.
He arrived at a Johannesburg hospital on Tuesday evening accompanied by his wife Esther, members of his medical team and support staff.
SAfm News tweeted that Lungu would possibly undergo medical tests and surgery on Wednesday.
Lungu dismissed reports that he was in a critical condition and unable to move.
Lungu won a snap election in late January after the death in office of president Michael Sata in October.
Sata was Zambia’s second leader to die in office in six years, sparking calls for presidential hopefuls to undergo medical checks to guarantee their fitness. – News24