Acting President Guy Scott this morning led foreign heads of state, foreign dignitaries, cabinet ministers, service chiefs, traditional leaders, opposition political party leaders and tens of thousands of Zambians in the requiem mass for late President Michael Sata at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Mourners started flocking to the National Heroes Stadium as early as 05:00 hours to attend the mass of late President Sata who died in London at King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday, October 28, 2014.
Speaking at the service, Dr. Scott stated that his job is to ensure that Zambia has a new President and a new administration within 90 days as per constitutional requirement.
Dr. Scott stressed that he will do everything to the best of his ability to make sure that people get the kind of President they want.
He reiterated the need for the nation to maintain peace, stability and continue on the path to sustainable development for the good of the people.
He said during the time he spent touring the country with the late President Sata, the departed head of state wanted Zambians to always remain united and Zambia a democratic country.
The Acting President also described the late President as a kind, generous man who embraced people of all races, religion and tribe.
He has urged Zambians to continue to behave well during the transition period in order to make the country proud.
And Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson Robert Mugabe said the best tribute Zambia can give to late President Sata is to build on his illustrious works.
Mr. Mugabe, who is also President of Zimbabwe, said all Zambians regardless of tribe, religious, and political affiliation should work towards realising the great idea which the late President Sata had.
He also disclosed that during his meetings with the late President Sata, the two discussed going into joint ventures by networking companies in the two countries.
He said the joint hosting of the World Tourism Organisation Conference in Livingstone and Victoria Falls was the beginning of joint partnership between the two countries.
Mr. Mugabe praised President Sata for striving to unite the people not only in Zambia but in the southern African region and Africa in general.
He also called on the nation to reject and fight neo-colonialism with the energy it deserves.
President Mugabe further challenged journalists to write about the work and achievement of the late head of state, saying President Sata was without doubt a man of action who put service to the people above self.
Meanwhile, Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General Edgar Lungu said the ruling party will live on despite the death of its founding leader.
Mr. Lungu, who also doubles as Minister of Defence and of Justice, described the departed President as a great teacher who passed on his political values, techniques and strategies before his death.
He said the late President Sata taught the PF how to do their politics and to survive in the competitive political environment in the country.
The PF Secretary General also stressed that the ruling party was not for sell to the highest bidder and warned that it will not allow greedy and corrupt individuals to hijack it.
Mr. Lungu has since called on all Zambians to unite and love one another as they move on after the death of the country’s leader.
He further assured the nation that the government will ensure that President Sata’s aspirations for the country are realised.
And family spokesperson Alexander Chikwanda thanked Zambians for the support and kindness shown to the Sata family during the mourning period.
Mr. Chikwanda, who is also Finance Minister, further thanked First Lady Christine Kaseba for the love and care she provided to late President Sata during his illness up to the time he died.
He also urged the leadership of the country to ensure they continue on the path to sustainable development, peace and unity which the former head of state stood for.
First President Kenneth Kaunda, fourth President Rupiah Banda, former Namibian president Sam Nujuma and former Botswana President Festus Mogae were among several heads of state that also attended the requiem mass.
President Sata has since been buried at the presidential burial site at Embassy Park in Lusaka.
He is survived by wife, Dr. Kaseba, nine children and five grandchildren.