Levy Patrick Mwanawasa (September 3, 1948 â€“ August 19, 2008) was the third President of Zambia. He was so much loved by his countrymen for his efforts to rid the country of corruption. As the President of Zambia, he first experienced a mild stroke in April 2006 and would later suffer another one in 2008.
The following are information relating to how the Zambian government was reporting the condition of their ailing President before he eventually died. It could be a lesson for the handlers of President Yar'Adua.
On 29 June 2008 - While in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for an African Union summit, Mwanawasa was hospitalized due to a second stroke.
1 July 2008 (two days later) - Due to Mwanawasa's incapacitation, Banda, the Vice President became acting President. The President was evacuated by air ambulance to France for further treatment. The head of the Egyptian hospital to which Mwanawasa was taken said that the doctors there had stopped the brain hemorrhage and that he was in a semi-comatose state. Vice-President Banda said that his condition was stable, and Minister of Information Mike Mulongoti hinted that Mwanawasa had previously suffered from hypertension; Mulongoti also stressed that Mwanawasa was a "very hard working man" and said that this may have been a factor.). Mwanawasa was hospitalized at the Percy Military Hospital, near Paris.
7 July 2008 - Banda said that Mwanawasa "remains in a stable condition" but had to undergo surgery, which Banda described as minor, to correct a breathing problem. Banda said on 8 July that this operation was successful.
11 July 2008 - Banda said that Mwanawasa's condition was stable and that his doctors were "satisfied with his current status". Benny Tetamashimba, his political Party's spokesman subsequently said that the party "should begin looking for a successor" to Mwanawasa as President of the Party.
14 July 2008 - United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema said that Mwanawasa's incapacitation had paralyzed the functioning of the government.
15 July 2008 - Patriotic Front leader (Opposition Leader) Michael Sata questioned the official claims about Mwanawasa's health, and he called for a team of doctors to be sent by the Cabinet to examine Mwanawasa; this team would then disclose Mwanawasa's actual condition.
17 July 2008 - His Party announced that Mwanawasa's condition was improving and that he was "responding to treatment", while asserting that the government was functioning smoothly and criticizing the opposition call for a team of doctors to report on Mwanawasa's health.
24 July 2008 - Banda gave another update of Mwanawasa's condition on, saying that he was making "steady progress in his recovery". Skepticism regarding Banda's optimistic updates was reportedly widespread.
8 August 2008 - Minister of Health Brian Chituwo, speaking before the National Assembly said that Mwanawasa's "healing process will indeed be long" due to the "serious nature of his illness".
18 August 2008 - Vice President Banda said on that Mwanawasa's condition had suddenly deteriorated and urgent medical intervention was necessary. The intervention was successful, according to Banda, but Mwanawasa remained in serious condition.
19 August 2008 - The news of Mwanawasa's death was announced by Banda through a television broadcast on the government-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). He informed the nation that Mwanawasa had died that morning at 10:30 (8:30 GMT) at the Percy Military Hospital in Paris. Expressing "immense grief and deep sorrow", Banda declared national mourning for seven days and urged Zambians to "remain calm and mourn our President with dignity". The mourning period was extended to 21 days on 21 August.