Zambian president Michael Sata died in London, where he arrived for medical treatment last week, several African media outlets reported Wednesday.
His death Tuesday evening was reported by broadcaster Muvi Television, citing acting president Edgar Lungu, as well as the opposition-linked Zambian Watchdog.
The BBC said family sources confirmed the reports.
The 77-year-old, who had ruled the southern African country since 2011, was discharged two days ago from a London clinic to receive medical care in a hotel room.
Sata was in ill health for some time, and his public appearances had grown increasingly rare.
A covert battle for his succession has been raging in the ruling Patriotic Front. Sata fired justice minister Wynter Kabimba – one of the frontrunners to succeed him – in August.
An election is not due until 2016.
Several news reports said a cabinet meeting and an announcement were expected later Wednesday. SAPA