Michael Sata, Zambia's 5th president (Wikimedia)
Michael Sata, Zambia's 5th president (2011-present). Photo by Oskar Lorenz, Wikimedia Commons
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Zambian President Michael Sata has returned to his country from Israel and celebrated his 77th birthday with friends and family on Sunday, a state-owned newspaper reported on Tuesday.

As Haaretz reported previously, Sata was treated at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv recently for an undisclosed illness. He was hospitalized until about 10 days ago.

A presidential spokesman was not available to comment.

"We would like to welcome you back home," family spokesman Chanda Kasolo was quoted as saying in the Zambia Daily Mail.

"We wish you nothing but the best of health and happiness as you continue taking charge of the affairs of the nation," Kasolo added.

The newspaper also carried a picture of Sata with members of his family taken by his son, Mulenga Sata.

Sata suffered a heart attack in 2008 and his opponents said he collapsed during a six-week election campaign in 2011, claims which have been denied by the president.

Before his 2011 victory, Sata had contested and lost presidential elections in 2001, 2006 and 2008.