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Zambian President Mwanawasa Is Alive, Government Says
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa is alive and reports that he died in a Paris hospital after suffering a stroke are ``false,'' said Mike Mulongoti, chief government spokesman.

Johannesburg-based 702 Talk Radio said Mwanawasa had died, citing Malone Zaza, the head of protocol at Zambia's High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa. The commission told Bloomberg there was no one employed at the embassy by that name.

``The president is still alive,'' Mulongoti said in comments broadcast by two radio stations, state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corp. and QFM, in the Zambian capital, Lusaka today. ``All the rumors being peddled should be treated as false.''

Mwanawasa, 59, was flown to the Percy military hospital near Paris on July 1 after suffering a stroke in Egypt on June 29, where he was attending an African Union meeting. He came to power in Zambia, Africa's biggest copper producer, in 2001 and was elected to a second term in office in 2006.

The French Foreign Ministry said Mwanawasa was being treated at the hospital, declining to comment further on the state of his health. Zambian Finance Minister Ngandu Magande said he was told at a briefing by Foreign Affairs Minister Kabinga Pande at 10 a.m. local time today that Mwanawasa's condition was stable.

The Zambian president, who holds the current rotating chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community, has been a vocal critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, breaking with a tradition among other southern African leaders of not criticizing their counterparts in the region.

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