Zambia Denies Reports That Prez Is Dead

'Responding well;' Mugabe critic collapsed ahead of AU summit
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 9:35 AM CDT
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa speaks at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Friday, Sept. 28, 2007, in Little Rock, Ark.    (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath)
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(Newser) – Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa is resting comfortably in a Paris hospital, said a government spokesman today, denying "malicious" widespread reports that the leader had died after suffering his second stroke in 2 years ahead of an African Union summit. Mwanawasa "is responding well to treatment. He has made steady progress," said the spokesman.

Mwanawasa is the chair of the Southern African Development Community, the regional body that is mediating in Zimbabwe. The president has won wide praise for his anti-graft campaign in Zambia, as well as his strong denunciations of violence by Robert Mugabe's regime over the border.