PRESIDENT Michael Sata was on Sunday night evacuated out of the country for what State House described as a medical check-up.
Airport sources disclosed that the President was flown out in an unmarked aircraft.
The President, it is believed, has been flown to Israel for specialist treatment a few days after he underwent a medical check-up at Care for Business (CFB) hospital in Lusaka.
Sources at CFB hospital confirmed that the Head of State had been to the institution for a medical check-up and was advised by the medical personnel attending to him to seek further medical attention.
State House press aide George Chellah confirmed in a statement yesterday that the President who was accompanied by First Lady Christine Kaseba and some family members, left on Sunday evening for a medical check-up, but the statement did not state where he had gone for the check-up.
“The President was here on Wednesday after 10:00hours in the morning and he spent more than an hour in the medical room while doctors were attending to him.
After the check-up the doctors recommended that the Head of State should go for further investigations,” the source said.
First Lady Christine Kaseba who should have participated in a Jubilee medical surgery at UTH could not take part as earlier announced.
Dr Kaseba was scheduled to be in the operating theatre on Thursday but did not attend.
And Government sources confirmed that a private plane whose name was withheld was chartered for the evacuation. They said the plane left Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 22:30 hours for Israel.
Meanwhile the opposition political parties, the church and civil society have commended Government for showing leadership by informing the nation about the departure of the President.
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema wished President Sata well and felt gratified that Government had come out in the open to tell Zambians that the President had gone for medical check-up.
ABZ president Fr Frank Bwalya said Government had exhibited transparency and accountability by announcing the departure of the President on a medical check-up.
Fr Bwalya said it was normal and standard practice for the heads of state to go for medical check-up as a way of ensuring that they remained in good health given the huge load of responsibility that they carried on their shoulders on behalf of their citizens.
Fr Bwalya called upon all Zambians not to panic but instead pray for the President so that he travels well and that doctors conducting the medical check-up could do a good job in assisting him and ensuring that he remained in good health.
“As to where the President has gone and the hospital for now, we think it is good enough that Government has informed us that he has left. And we are urging all Zambians to make sure that they do whatever is required of them to have a fruitful Jubilee celebration,” he said.
And MMD’s Lusaka province chairman Watson Mtonga said what Government has done was supposed to have been done a long time ago.
Mr Mtonga said President Sata was an asset for Zambians and that the money that was being used to finance all his trips was taxpayers’ money.
He said Mr Sata was human and was bound to fall sick anytime and that it was good that the PF administration had finally realised that it was important to communicate to the people of Zambia.
“It is healthy for Zambians to know that the President has left the country instead of mere speculation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Pentecostals Fellowship of Zambia (PFZ) says it was unfortunate that the Vice-President Guy Scott and the entire cabinet could not mention a thing on President Sata’s health during the jubilee prayers before he was evacuated.
PFZ public relations officer Bishop Naison Nyonyo said it would have been a great opportunity for the Government to open up on President Sata’s health to the Zambian people to participate in calling for divine intervention.