Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday sent a message of condolence to the people and government of Zambia on the death of their President, Levy Mwanawasa.The president noted that Mwanawasa belonged to the group of African leaders providing exemplary stewardship for the advancement of the continent.
According to Presidential Press Secretary, Sheka Tarawalie, the president, Ernest Bai Koroma in a letter to Vice President Rupiah Banda of Zambia, said, “At this time of sorrow, I wish to extend to you, the bereaved families and the people of the Republic of Zambia, my heartfelt condolences over the irreparable loss. I also wish to convey to you the sympathies of the brotherly people of the Republic of Sierra Leone.”
Levy Mwanawasa died yesterday in a Paris hospital after several weeks of critical illness, which led to an operation on him. He suffered a stroke while attending the African Union summit in June in the Egyptian resort of Sharma el-Sheikh, which President Koroma also attended. The late Zambian leader was head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which he used to astutely denounce the Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe’s undemocratic practice, a stance the Sierra Leonean leader also took.
Since taking office some seven years back, the health of the former Zambian President was a major issue to the country, especially for the opposition parties, but he was however able to win the admiration of many Zambians, especially with regards his fight against corruption, bringing to court key personalities in Zambian politics including the Former President Frederick Chiluba
His death, according to Zambian law calls for a presidential by-election within 90 days. Levy Mwanawasa was supposed to end his presidential term in 2011, and this is, probably, the first time in the history of the country, for a leader not to end his term in office, reports state. He reportedly left behind six wives, and a widow