ZAMBIANS abroad and other people yesterday attended a requiem mass in honour of President Michael Sata in London.
The church service was held at the Church of Our Lady in St Johns Wood in North-West London and was organised by the Zambian mission in conjunction with the Diocese of Westminster to celebrate the life of Mr Sata.
The casket of the late President was placed in the centre of the church.
The First Family and some Cabinet ministers attended the service, which started around 14:00 hours and lasted for about an hour.
Bemba and Chewa Catholic songs characterised the service broadcast live on ZNBC television from London.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, PF national chairperson Inonge Wina, and Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata were the Cabinet ministers in attendance.
Zambian chaplain Clement Mukuka said President Sata championed the cause of the voiceless and many times wore his feelings on his sleeve.
Father Mukuka said this was so because Mr Sata loved and cared for the people.
“Hence putting into practice Jesus’ commandment that love your neighbour as you love yourself,” he said.
Lusaka Mayor Mulenga Sata also spoke during the service and described his late father as a pillar of the family.
Mr Chikwanda and Mr Kalaba said it was difficult to deal with the loss of such a great leader, especially that it was only three years ago that multitudes turned out to elect him into office.
Bishop Nicholas Hudson of the Westminster Diocese presided over the service with Fr Mukuka.
Queen Elizabeth ordered a special military send-off for the body of the President at Heathrow Airport.
Meanwhile, first Republican president Kenneth Kaunda has described President Sata as a great part of the country’s 50 years of independence and that for him to die at this time of celebrating the nation’s Golden Jubilee was devastating.
Dr Kaunda said President Sata made important contributions to the nation, having worked in various roles in the party, Government and business.
He was shocked at the passing on of President Sata who he said had brought a lot of hope to his heart when he took over the reigns of power as President of Zambia.
Times of Zambia