Sata consoles Sakeni’s mother


PRESIDENT Sata yesterday visited the funeral house of the late Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kennedy Sakeni.
The President, who arrived at the funeral house slightly after 11:00 hours, was accompanied by Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Joseph Katema his deputy Jean Kapata, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nickson Chilangwa, Patriotic Front (PF) Lusaka Province chairperson Geoffrey Chumbwe and other senior government officials.
Mr Sata, who was at the funeral for more than two hours, took time to console the late Sakeni’s mother, Eness Chabu, and her son, Vincent.
Mr Sakeni 56, died on Thursday at the University Teaching Hospital.
The late minister has been accorded a state funeral in accordance with guidelines on state functions.
Burial of the late Mr Sakeni will be preceded by a requiem service at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus today at 13:30 hours to accord Lusaka people chance to mourn the late minister.
Mr Sakeni will be buried in Samfya and his body will be flown from Lusaka tomorrow morning.
And Mazabuka member of Parliament (MP) Gary Nkombo will lead a delegation of nine parliamentarians to mourn Mr Sakeni up to Samfya.
Mr Nkombo who arrived at the funeral house slightly after the arrival of Mr Sata went straight to greet the president.
“I’m impressed with the way my brothers from the PF have welcomed me, this is the way we are supposed to live; at a time like this we should put aside political differences and embrace each other,” he said.
Mr Nkombo described Mr Sakeni as a hard working person who was dedicated to the development of the nation.
And messages of condolences have continued pouring in, following the death of Mr Sakeni.
Chipangali member of Parliament Vincent Mwale said he received the news of Mr Sakeni’s death with sadness.
“Rest in peace ba yama, I had great and mature debates with you about matters of development in our country,’’ Mr Mwale said.
Mr Mwale said even when there was clearly a huge difference, Mr Sakeni respected him and treated him as a peer.
He prayed for the family to have strength and for him to rest in eternal peace.
And Humphrey Kapapula said Mr Sakeni’s death was a big loss to the people of Luapula because he was the pillar of the party.
Mr Kapapula, who is Patriotic Front councillor for Lubwa, said he has known Mr Sakeni for 20 years and described him as a good organiser of the party.
He said Mr Sakeni was committed to the welfare of the Patriotic Front to an extent that he sometimes used his personal money to organise party functions.
“When MMD members defected to the PF, he was there to receive them. He will be difficult to replace,’’ Mr Kapapula said.
Mr Kapapula said the party will need to find someone who will be hard working like Mr Sakeni was to continue party work in Luapula, adding that the departed minister was a trusted “soldier”.
He said Mr Sakeni’s death was a shock and wished his family God’s strength and guidance as they mourn the loss of their loved one.
And Alliance for Better Zambia secretary general Eric Chanda said Mr Sakeni’s death was unfortunate because Zambia needed his knowledge to contribute towards economic development.
Mr Chanda said Mr Sakeni was an inspiration to most people and he shall be remembered for his humility as a politician and businessman.
“On behalf of my president, Father Frank Bwalya and the entire party, we would like to convey our deepest condolences to President Sata, the Patriotic Front party and Mr Sakeni’s family,’’ Mr Chanda said.