- Title: ZAMBIA-SATA/BODY ARRIVAL Body of Zambian President Michael Sata arrives in Lusaka
- Date: 1st November 2014
- Summary: VARIOUS OF LARGE PORTRAIT OF MICHAEL SATA
- Embargoed: 16th November 2014 12:00
- Location: Zambia
- Country: Zambia
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAAKVOQGYTPDEE7QYUW6CUPRPWH
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- Story Text: The body of Zambian president Michael Sata, who died in London on Tuesday (October 28), arrived in Zambia on Saturday (November 1) ahead of his burial which is expected to take place on November 11.
Hundreds of people lined the Great East road as Sata's casket was driven to the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, where a brief wreath-laying ceremony was held.
There were emotional scenes with several people breaking down as pall bearers carried Sata's dark casket draped in the Zambian flag off the chartered plane.
A presidential election is expected to be held within 90 days from Oct. 28 when Sata died at King Edward VII hospital.
The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party is yet to pick a candidate.
Possible PF candidates include defence minister Edgar Lungu, former PF secretary-general Wynter Kabimba, Finance minister Alexander Chikwaka and Sata's son Mulenga, the mayor of Lusaka, analysts say.
Acting president Guy Scott is interim leader until the election, making him the first white African leader since South Africa's F.W. de Klerk lost to Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election that ended apartheid .
Scott, 70, is ineligible to run for the presidency in the election because of citizenship restrictions.
Sata, nicknamed 'King Cobra' because of his venomous tongue died in London where he had been receiving medical treatment.
The president died on Tuesday evening at London's King Edward VII hospital, the Zambia Reports and Zambian Watchdog websites reported. He was 77.
The cause of death was not immediately disclosed but Sata, who became president of the landlocked southern African nation in 2011, had been ill for some time.
He left Zambia on Oct. 19 for medical treatment, accompanied by his wife and family members.
Concern over Sata's health had been mounting since June when he disappeared from the public eye without explanation and was then reported to be receiving medical treatment in Israel.
He missed a scheduled speech at the U.N. General Assembly in September amid reports that he had fallen ill in his New York hotel.
A few days before that, he had attended the opening of parliament in Lusaka, joking: "I am not dead".
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