There has been much debate on President Sata’s health. This is expected and it is clearly not the first time. Zambians in the past, sometimes led by Mr Sata, have debated matters of presidential health more vigorously than we are seeing at present. This is to be welcomed because Zambia should not be a Republic of Fear, where people are afraid to say what they think for fear of being insulted, victimised or imprisoned.
President Sata is obviously unwell and this was helpfully confirmed by Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda in May 2014 when he said clearly that ministers were equally "concerned" for his health. The issue has therefore moved beyond simple consideration of the binary question, is he well or not, but to two critical questions: how seriously ill is Mr Sata; and, does it matter to ordinary Zambians?