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Zambian president makes first public appearance in 3 months

12 september 2014, 10:49

  Zambian President Michael Sata has appeared in public to address two political meetings, his first appearances since speculation about his poor health started three months ago, AFP reports.

State television on Thursday showed him briefly speaking at a political rally in the northwestern city of Solwezi and another in Mkushi in central Zambia.

The 77-year-old leader has not been seen in public since June 19, sparking speculation that he is seriously ill. Analysts say a power struggle is already underway behind the scenes for Zambia's top job.

Civil rights activist Brebner Changala said the appearances had not helped to dispell rumours about Sata's health.

"You can see that the man is not fine but he just wants to end these talks about his ill health," Changala told AFP.

Sata was campaigning for the governing party candidates ahead of parliamentary by-elections in the two cities.

He was shown speaking for about three minutes at both rallies, pledging that his party would improve health services for children.

President Sata is also expected to address parliament at its official opening on September 19.

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