14 days national mourning

Rehearsals for Receiving remains of President Michael Sata
Rehearsals for Receiving remains of President Michael Sata

GOVERNMENT has declared a 14-day period of national mourning in honour of President Sata.
And the remains of Mr Sata are scheduled to arrive in the country from London tomorrow at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka at 10:00 hours.
The period of national mourning is from Wednesday this week.
Secretary to Cabinet Roland Msiska said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that Mr Sata will be buried on Tuesday, November 11 at Lusaka’s Embassy Park.
“Acting President Guy Scott will lead Government officials, military personnel, family members among several other mourners to receive the body at the airport.
“A military escort will lead the funeral cortege to Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC), where Dr Scott is expected to lay a wreath in a brief ceremony,” he said.
Dr Msiska said the body of Mr Sata will lie in state at the conference centre until Sunday, November 9.
He said body viewing for members of the public will commence on Sunday, November 2 at the conference centre.
“Members of the public will be afforded an opportunity on daily basis from 12:00 hours to 18:00 hours. A schedule on body viewing will be communicated through the media,” Dr Msiska said.
He said the body of the President will not be moved from one provincial centre to another but that people in the various localities will be able to view the funeral proceedings through television screens that will be mounted.
“It is the view of cabinet and the family that to give a dignified send off to the President, we will follow the programme as indicated,” he said.
Dr Msiska said a thanks giving ceremony will be held at Parliament buildings on November 10 and burial will be preceded by a requiem church service at the National Heroes Stadium.
Books of condolences opened yesterday at Government House in Lusaka, provincial administrations and Zambian missions abroad.
Dr Msiska said Lusaka’s Belvedere Lodge has been earmarked as funeral place for close relatives while other mourners will be required to assemble at the show grounds after arrival of the body.
And a team of ministers is in London to arrange for the return of the remains of President Sata.
Dr Msiska said Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba, Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata, Minister of Gender Inonge Wina and two other senior Government officials are in London.
Meanwhile, preparations of the burial ground have commenced at Embassy Park.
A check yesterday found personnel from the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and a contractor on site.
And Dr Msiska says Attorney-General Musa Mwenye will issue a comprehensive statement on the appointment of the acting President.
He said this in response to a question by journalists on the revocation of Edgar Lungu’s appointment as acting President.
“To avoid any confusion, the Attorney-General will issue a very detailed explanation about all these articles. It is a very clear issue,” Dr Msiska said.
He said Government has handled the issue of acting President within the law.

Zambia Daily Mail