President Michael Sata has dismissed as outrageous and insensitive UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s remarks that the state did not accord the late Medardo Cardinal Joseph Mazombwe a befitting funeral.
Mr. Hichilema is said to have criticised President Sata for delegating Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, to attend Cardinal Mazombwe’s funeral, during an interview with a local TV station.
But the Head of State, who described Mr. Hichilema’s remarks as ill-timed and insensitive to the Catholic community, advised the UPND leader to always strive for unanimity and maturity especially in times when the nation is expected to hold together as one.
President Sata says common courtesy and decency demand that leaders of Mr. Hichilema’s stature should be cognisant of the fact that funerals are very emotive and private situations where politics should not even be thought about.
He adds that the UPND leader must realise that mourning is a personal spiritual commitment of passion, love and respect for the deceased, and that anything short of this is pure hypocrisy and posturing.
President Sata has advised Mr Hichilema to learn to attend funerals with an upright heart and good intentions, by knowing when it’s time for politics and time for mourning.
He says by coming out so inconsiderate, self-centred and self-righteous at a dignified cleric’s funeral, Mr. Hichilema is only petitioning his own capacity as a leader.
Mr Sata reminds Mr. Hichilema to be mindful that his routine and embarrassing display of reckless and insensitive cheek will not add any meaningful value to his standing or political ambition.
He counsels the UPND leader to learn to sell a personal image of unity, humility, compassion and patriotism.
The President said the state will not lower itself to Mr. Hichilema’s level by publicly announcing the extent of assistance and contribution it made towards Cardinal Mazombwe’s funeral.
This is contained in a media statement made available to QFM by George Chellah the president%u2019s special assistant for press and public relations.