Zambian envoy urges unity in Lota family

former Chipolopolo striker, Dennis Lota
former Chipolopolo striker, Dennis Lota

ZAMBIA’S High Commissioner to South Africa, Muyeba Chikonde has called for unity among family members of late former Chipolopolo striker, Dennis Lota ahead of burial tomorrow in Johannesburg.
In a statement released by first secretary for press at the Zambian mission in South Africa, Patson Chilemba, Chikonde urged the two families to settle any differences that could have arisen amicably, saying the late Lota, who until his death was Moroka Swallows assistant coach, was a respected person, a unifier and humble.
He said this when he visited the funeral house in Johannesburg to convey the Government’s message of condolences.
“The President has been consistently requesting for updates over this issue. Even as he was leaving London he called to find out on the status. This shows the importance that government and people of Zambia attach to this funeral.
“We are deeply saddened at the passing on of Lota. This is the reason why Government will be represented by Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili, myself and officials from Football Association of Zambia (FAZ),” he said.
Differences arose between the two families on the final resting place of Lota with some family members in Zambia calling for the repatriation of the body back home while the widow’s family wanted burial to take place in South Africa.
But Chikonde said while Government was able to assist in repatriating the body to Zambia, it could not dictate to the Lota family as to where his remains should be buried.
He said this was because Government was careful not to interfere with the family’s decision.
Chikonde said the Government would take the responsibility of purchasing Lota’s casket.
And during the meeting between Chikonde and the family members from the two sides on Sunday, family spokesperson John Mphatsoe bemoaned that Swallows would not be fully involved in financing the funeral.
Mphatsoe said it was sad that the responsibility had only been left to individual members to make their contributions.
The late Lota, who starred for the national soccer team and several clubs in Zambia and South Africa, is survived by a wife, Bonita and four children.
He will be buried at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg.