By SYLVESTER MWALE –
LATE President Michael Sata’s son Mulenga says his father did not lose his sense of humour even at the time of his death in London.
Mr Sata who, is also Lusaka Mayor, says the late Head of State was even joking with his grandchildren before he died in London on Tuesday.
President Sata, 77, died on Tuesday at King Edward VII Hospital, Central London where he had been admitted since leaving Zambia on October 20.
Speaking in an interview upon arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, the Lusaka mayor said his father had not lost his usual sense of humour and had been joking with his grand children.
“Of course I cannot say he told us something as his last words because he did not know he was going to die anyway. But he was joking with my son (Khunyuli) before he died,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sata has called on Zambians to remain calm, united and peaceful as the country mourned the late president.
Mr Sata said any apparent lack of transparency in the selection of a candidate to contest in the presidential by-elections by some clique could result into chaos.
“I think it goes without saying that people should mourn with dignity. We should be mindful that people are very emotional and people should not take that emotional lightly.
“It is apparent a lack of transparency and some maneuvering by certain cliques that will obviously create chaos.”
He said there was no need to accuse one another during the period of national mourning but instead concentrate on the funeral and continue with the vision of the late president.
Mr Sata said his father shared a vision for Zambia with many leaders including him and hoped his successor would be relevant to
Asked if he would be interested after some youths proposed him to take over following the death of his father, Mr Sata said “I have been in the school Mr Sata (President) and I have been the servants of the people, so why not.”
He however, noted that there was a process that needed to be followed for anyone to contest the presidency.
He said knowing that acting president Guy Scott was already out of the race, the ruling party had a short time in which to elect someone who would contest the presidential by-elections in less than 90 days.
Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton has expressed confidence that Zambia will have a smooth and peaceful transition following the death of President Sata.
Mr Thornton said Zambia has proper democratic institutions that could facilitate a smooth transition of power just like the country managed to do the same in 2008.
He said he was impressed by the unity that had been exhibited by the Zambians from the time the President died in London.
Mr Thornton whose Government arranged a special send-off of Mr Sata’s body on Friday evening in London, said Zambia had managed to pull through and this would not be an exception.
The cousin of Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Gloncester called the First Lady Christine Kaseba in the morning on Friday to convey the queen’s condolences on the death of President Sata.
On Friday night a special ceremonial unit from the Royal Air Force provided military honours at Heathrow Airport before departure of the body.
times of zambia