Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
LUSAKA - Zambia's vice-president, Rupiah Banda, has taken over as head of government after the death of President Levy Mwanawasa until early elections are held, officials said yesterday.
Mwanawasa, 59, died in a French military hospital on Tuesday after suffering a stroke in June.
Cabinet secretary Joshua Kanganja said Banda, 72, was now running the country. The prominent businessman was appointed as Mwanawasa's deputy in 2006 and is seen as a possible successor.
"It's his honour, the vice-president, who is in charge," Kanganja said yesterday.
Attorney-General Mumba Malila said the government would also set out Banda's role and powers as acting president on Wednesday.
Mwanawasa led Zambia since 2001, winning re-election in 2006.
Zambian newspapers and politicians yesterday paid tribute to Mwanawasa - a vocal critic of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe - as a champion of sound economic management and the fight against corruption.
"This is a dark day for Zambia," the state-owned Zambia Daily Mail said in an editorial. "The president's passing leaves the nation shell-shocked and grief-stricken." The privately-owned Post newspaper said: "It's a hard blow, an extremely hard blow."
Main opposition leader Michael Sata, who reconciled with Mwanawasa in May after an acrimonious relationship, described his death as a "national disaster".
Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda praised Mwanawasa for his fight against corruption. - Reuters