SPORTS bodies have expressed sadness at the death of President Michael Sata.
They said he had greatly contributed to the infrastructure development that saw various associations start hosting major international events.
Leading in paying tributes was Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) chairperson Mwamba Kalenga who said President Sata had the vision of sports infrastructure development as it was during his tenure that Zambia witnessed enormous sports infrastructure built.
Kalenga said the various infrastructure developments had been unprecedented in the history of Zambia and therefore stands out as an honourable man.
“We wish to state that we have lost a hero in sport because he did not only support sport financially and materially but was also a fan of sport in Zambia. The Sports Council through its affiliates were making positive strides in sport development through the various polices government has put in place.
These policies had the president’s involvement hence a lot of achievements which we have all seen. It was also during his time that the Chipolopolo lifted the Africa Cup and also saw many associations working hard to qualify for international events,” he said.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) said the death had come as a shock and that the football fraternity would miss President Sata’s political will and support to the country’s football governing body for which he was patron.
“As patron of the association, we enjoyed good political will and support in our duty to administer football on behalf of the people of Zambia. We will surely miss him and the role he played during the time he was President and patron of the association,” FAZ communications manager Nkweto Tembwe said.
Former FAZ communications manager Erick Mwanza, now media officer at CAF, said he would always have fond memories about the late President whom he said was more than a Chipolopolo patron but an inspiration to the team.
“The whole team loved him dearly, and I was particularly honoured to be the one to receive the Order of Distinguished Service for our team at State House. He never forgot to always ask “Kalusha ali kwi?” whether on picking the president’s phone or in stepping forward for State honours,” Mwanza said.
Africa Golf Confederation (AGC) president Joel Malanji said he learnt of the death of President Sata with deep regret.
“I wish to pass my condolences to the people of Zambia and the Government and pray to the lord all mighty that he give you and the people of Zambia strength through this trying moment,” he said in a letter addressed to Republican Vice President.
Zambia Amateur Swimming Union (ZASU) president David Thompson said the 90 Days Legacy Swimming Pool is President Sata’s legacy.
Thompson said it is was during President Sata’s time that ZASU managed to host three biggest swimming galas thanks to government who constructed the world class 90 Days Legacy Swimming Pool in 2012 at Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka.
Zambia Amateur Athletics Association (ZAAA) president Elias Mpondela said the late President produced light that one can actually speed up development in a short period like the hosting of Zone Six in 2012.
“ZAAA has lost a great leader in Michael Chilufya Sata. For the first time we saw our athletes receiving monetary support. We can clearly state that without his support, Zambia couldn’t have scored world record times in athletics. Through the First Lady, we managed to raise money for athletes and this is possible because of him,” he said.
Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) president Thomas Chileshe said the country had been robbed of a gallant leader, who strived to see that all sports disciplines were adequately catered for.
“We saw a lot of developments in terms of sports during his government. Boxers will forever remember him for the K15, 000 his government gave to each boxer following their success at the Zone Six Games,” he said.
National Paralympics Committee (NPC) president Sara Brotherton said the President’s death had cast a dark cloud on paralympians in the country because he was passionate about equal opportunities in sports.
Times of Zambia