Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda has been admitted to a hospital in the country’s capital, Lusaka for pneumonia, a close aide has said.
A statement from his office says the 97-year old Kaunda has asked for prayers for his recovery. There are however no details of his condition.
“He is being treated for pneumonia but he doesn’t have Covid,” the former president’s assistant Rodrick Ngolo told the AFP news agency.
He was addressing rumours that Mr Kaunda had coronavirus.
“The problem of pneumonia comes up regularly and each time you hear he is in hospital, it’s because of pneumonia,” he said.
Mr Kaunda is said to be improving.
There has been growing concern about his health especially as Zambian President Edgar Lungu, along with South Africa’s leader Cyril Ramaphosa, had asked people to pray for Mr Kaunda.
He was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday with a minor chest infection and was actually due to be discharged on Monday, the BBC was told.
But his condition changed overnight and became worrying that morning.
The former leader, who served as president from 1964 to 1991, is one of the last surviving members of a group that struggled against colonialism in Africa in the aftermath of World War Two.