——-Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao says he is optimistic that Zambians will mourn late President Michael Sata with honour as the nation is known for peaceful deliberations despite different political parties.
Mr Li made the remarks when he signed the book of condolences at the Zambian embassy in Beijing this evening.
Vice President Li said he received the news about the demise of President Sata yesterday when Chinese President Xi Jinping made a public announcement and sending of the message of condolences to his late counterpart.
The Chinese Vice President however, described the late Mr Sata as a visionary, famous and political leader who has made a number of positive contributions to the development of his country over a short period that he was in office, adding that he also strived to enhance the bilateral relations existing between China and Zambia.
Mr Li who visited Zambia in June this year recalled his meeting with the late Zambian president saying though he had information that Mr Sata was unwell at the time, he did not look to be, as physically, he looked well and no one knew the situation would lead to his demise so quickly.
“We hope Zambians will mourn late President Sata with dignity and rally behind the leadership of Dr Guy Scott to the point where a new president is voted in, to build from where Mr Sata has left in order to keep the torch of development burning,” said Mr Li.
The Chinese Vice President has since conveyed his message of condolences to Acting President Guy Scott, the Zambian people and the Sata family.
The signing of the book of condolences was witnessed by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister, Zhang Ming, Deputy Minister for International Department for Central Committee of the China People’s Congress, Ms Xu Lvping.
And Zambia’s Ambassador to China Gertrude Kasuba Mwape commended the Chinese government for the gesture and on behalf of Zambia thanked China, saying the country has been at hand all the time Zambia needed support.
Ms Mwape also thanked President Xi for the Chinese support and his message of condolence sent to Zambia yesterday.
She said Dr Guy Scott will serve the country as the Acting President for 90 days as per the constitution of Zambia and within the period, presidential by elections will be held.
The Zambian envoy has also urged Zambians to rally behind the leadership of Dr Scott saying the time of mourning should be used to unify the nation as opposed to leadership squabbles.
She called on Zambians of all walks of life to put the country first and work with the government of the day.
Ms Mwape who also paid tribute to Mr Sata described him as a visionary leader saying the man had a passion for Zambia as he knew all its corners hence the establishment of more districts, a vision he had way back when he was in the Ministry of Local Government where he used to advocate for decentralization.
“He established many districts because he believed that was the best way to bring development close to the people,” she said.
Ms Mwape further stated that late President Sata’s legacy can only be enhanced through unity as he stood for unity and development as seen from his achievements during his tenure.