RB describes Sata as friend

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—Body viewing of the late President Michael Sata’s by members of the general public, which started yesterday at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, has entered day two. 


ZANIS reports that deputies of the defence chiefs took their turn and paid their last respects to Mr Sata and Commander In-Chief of the Armed Forces.


Communications and Transport Deputy Minister, Panji Kaunda and his other ministry counterpart, Mwimba Malama also viewed Mr Sata’s body.


Former fourth Republican President, Rupiah Banda said in an interview soon after viewing President’s Sata’s body that Mr Sata was a friend who would greatly be missed by not only him but the nation at large.


Mr Banda, who was flanked by his Administrative Secretary, Mikatazo Wakumelo, disclosed that he had a strong relationship with President Sata to which he claimed that he had benefited from the services of the former Head of State.



“I have lost an active senior citizen and a friend and it is very sad indeed losing such a person. Michael and I had a strong relationship and a I have lost a friend,” Mr Banda said.


He recollected that the late President Sata returned his passport that enabled him to travel to South Africa for a medical review.


The former Head of State said he peacefully handed over power to the late President Sata and wished that there would be no violence during this period of national mourning and three-month transition period under Acting President,   Guy Scott.


Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson, Irene Mambilima, in a separate interview, disclosed that two newly constructed office accommodation blocks have been completed and could have been launched by President Sata had he still been alive.


Justice Mambilima who was flanked by Commission Board members and Commission Spokesperson, Cris Akufuna, commended the late President for increasing funding to the Commission.



On the proposed Presidential poll, Mrs Mambilima disclosed that the Commission has started making preparations for the Presidential election to be held early next year.


Mrs Mambilima said she would officially write to the Government through the Ministry of Finance to request for funds from the treasury.



On the actual budget required, Mrs Mambilima said the nation would be informed after the burial of the departed Zambian President.


“As l am talking to you right now, two office accommodation buildings have been completed and they could have been handed over to us by President Sata if he had not passed on,” she said. 



Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, said Mr Sata was the longest and true servant of the people who gave his life serving the Zambian people.


Mr Hichilema said Mr Sata served in the first republic under UNIP and the previous MMD administration and that demonstrated he was a hard worker.



Meanwhile, Lusaka Lusaka District Commissioner (DC), Ashell Kampengele, wept un-controllably after viewing Mr Sata’s body.


Mr. Kampengele later shunned to speaking to journalists.


Lusaka Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Bright Nundwe, told the Journalists that he would arrange for an interview with them because the DC was still mourning the Head of State.


President Sata died in London on October 28 and his remains arrived in the country Saturday morning aboard a private airline accompanied by the First Lady, Christine some Cabinet Ministers and members of the family.


The late President Sata would be put to rest at Embassy Park in Lusaka on November 11.