PRESIDENT Michael Sata has announced a three-day period of national mourning starting on Sunday to Tuesday in honour of the late Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kennedy Sakeni, who died last Thursday.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said in a statement yesterday that burial would take place on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 and that arrangements would be communicated later.
Burial would be preceded by a requiem service at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 13:30 hours.
During the period of national mourning, all flags would fly at half mast and activities of entertainment nature would be put on hold between 06:00 hours and 18:00 hours.
Mr Sakeni was Mansa Central Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament and PF chairperson for Luapula Province.
Meanwhile, former Zambia Intelligence Security Services director general Xavier Chungu has described the late Mr Sakeni as a hardworking person who always performed his duties above average during the time he worked with him in the Office of the President.
Mr Chungu said Mr Sakeni was a candid man who was successful both in politics and as a business executive.
“I know Mr Sakeni from Luapula, we hail from the same area, I actually encouraged him to join politics to represent the people of Luapula which he did so well,” Mr Chungu said.
He said Mr Sakeni was a pillar of the people in Luapula Province and of his family, and that his death was a great loss.
The United Party for National Development (UPND) conveyed a message of condolences to President Sata, the Government and the bereaved family over the death of Mr Sakeni.
UPND secretary general Winstone Chibwe said the death of the Information minister was a loss to the political fraternity and urged the PF and Mr Sakeni’s family to focus on God and pray for strength.
“Though we differ in political opinion we are all brothers and Zambians and we wish that Mr Sakeni would have stayed longer to contribute to the political arena of the nation,” Mr Chibwe said.
Foundation for Democratic Process executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said Mr Sakeni would be remembered for his humility and openness.
He said Mr Sakeni was committed to media reforms in Zambia and exercised an open-door policy.
The Shila people of Senior Chief Mununga of Chienge District have expressed sadness at the death of Mr Sakeni.
Mabila Traditional Ceremony organising committee publicity secretary, Leonard Kalenga said the people of Senior Chief Mununga were saddened by the loss of one of the gallant sons of Zambia who came from Luapula Province.
He said Mr Sakeni was instrumental in resolving the wrangles that characterised the ascension to the throne of the current senior chief, Lewis Chinunka.