People mourn President Levy Mwanawasa
Various political parties and veteran politicians have expressed deep sorrow and grief at the death of republican President, Levy Mwanawasa who passed on at 10:30 hours this morning in France.
Dr. Mwanawasa suffered a stroke on June 29, this year while in Egypt where he had gone to attend the African Union Summit. He was admitted to Sharm-El-Sheik International hospital before being evacuated to Percy Military hospital in Paris France where he died this morning.
Former Vice President, Enoch Kavindele described the death of Dr. Mwanawasa as a great loss to the nation.
“I am very saddened about the loss of our President. I had the pleasure of working with him”, he said.
Mr. Kavindele hoped that Dr. Mwanawasa’s economic emancipation which he was working for would not be disturbed.
He said Dr. Mwanawasa had devoted his time to fighting poverty in the country which had already borne fruits.
“Zambians must keep calm and maintain peace. The loss of a President in not easy,” he said.
Mr. Kavindele was late Dr. Mwanawasa’s first Vice President.
Retired politician, Sikota Wina told ZANIS that the death of Dr. Mwanawasa was a disaster of the greatest magnitude to the nation.
“Dr. Mwanawasa had already made a very firm stamp on the nation, he had a direction into which we were all going,” he said.
Mr. Wina said, “Let us all pull ourselves and continue where he left”.
Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) expressed great sadness at the death of Dr. Mwanawasa saying it was a sad development to the nation.
UPND President, Hakainde Hichilema called on Zambians to mourn the late President with dignity and honour because he did a lot of things to the country.
“Let us remain united as Zambians,” Mr. Hichilema.
UPND spokesperson, Charles Kakoma wished the first family God’s guidance during this trying moment.
Mr. Kakoma has since appealed t Zambians to remain calm during the mourning period.
Former ruling party, United National Independence Party (UNIP) vice president, Njekwa Anamela, said the death of the President was a tragedy that touched all Zambians.
A clergyman, Bishop John Mambo said Zambians should put aside their political differences and mourn the late President in a calm and peaceful manner.
And first Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda has described the death of President Mwanawasa as a great loss to Zambia and Africa.
Speaking at a Press Briefing at his office in Lusaka today, Dr. Kaunda said President Mwanawasa provided impeccable and exemplary leadership to Zambia and Africa as a whole.
Dr. Kaunda said Dr. Mwanawasa exhibited the essential tenets of good governance through his relentless advocacy for the universal observance of human rights, rule of law and the fight against corruption.
He noted that Zambia has lost a great leader who had a vision to attain economic and social development for all the people of the country.
Dr. Kaunda said President Mwanawasa’s vision to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment can be attained if all citizens emulate his exemplary leadership.
The first republican President called for unity, sacrifice and nationalism among all citizens by being guided by the country’s motto of One Zambia One Nation .
And second Republican President Dr. Frederick Chiluba has extended his deepest condolences to the First Family, the First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa, the Acting Vice President Rupiah Banda, government and the nation over the death of President Levy Mwanawasa.
Dr. Chiluba told ZANIS in an interview that the nation should remain calm, united and peaceful as the country mourns Dr. Mwanawasa.
“I urge the nation to remain calm, united and peaceful as the country goes through this difficult time of mourning our beloved President,” he said.
Meanwhile, the United States of America government has conveyed its condolences to First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa, the First Family and the nation on the death of President Mwanawasa.
American Ambassador to Zambia Carmen Martinez told ZANIS that the thoughts of the American people are with the Zambian citizenry and the entire SADC region.
Mrs. Martinez said Dr. Mwanawasa served the country with conviction and commitment. She said President Mwanawasa would be long remembered and admired for his contribution to economic development, good governance, regional peace and security, and respect for the rule of law.
She said his legacy provides an example to leaders, both locally and abroad.
And British High Commissioner to Zambia Alistair Harrison said the British Government Offices in Zambia were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Zambia and in particular with the family of the late President at this very difficult time,” he said.
And Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have expressed shock at the death of President Mwanawasa.
Women for Change (WFC) Executive Director, Emily Sikazwe says it is a dark day for Zambia adding that her organisation stands with the first family and the rest of Zambians in mourning Dr. Mwanawasa.
Ms Sikazwe told the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in an interview in Lusaka today that on a personal level she understands what the first family in particular the first lady is going through.
She explained that as a widow, it is not easy to bringing up children without their father.
Ms Sikazwe has since called upon Zambians to remain calm and united as the country mourns and puts to rest President Mwanawasa.
And the Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution (SACCORD) Executive Director, Lee Haabasonda said the country has been robbed of a great leader.
Mr. Haabasonda noted that President Mwanawasa meant well for the country adding that he had put the country’s social and economic development on the right track.
He has since conveyed his deepest condolences to the first family and hopes that Zambians will remain peaceful in this trying moment.
Meanwhile the Media Institute of Zambia (MISA) Zambia Chapter have also expressed suddenness at the death of President Mwanawasa.
Chairperson, Henry Kabwe said the media fraternity is touched and affected as President Mwanawasa was committed to Media reforms and providing a conducive atmosphere for the media to operate effectively.
Mr Kabwe said Dr Mwanawasa will be greatly missed adding that he hopes that his successor will continue from he left.
“Our prayer was to see him come back home to Zambia and continue with the media reforms he had started,” Mr. Kabwe said.
And the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) Vice President, Amos Chanda said the death of President Mwanawasa is a serious tragedy for the whole nation.
Mr. Chanda said the media will greatly miss President Mwanawasa leadership as he had elevated the country position of good governance to the highest level.
He noted that Dr Mwanawasa had committed himself to good governance and constitutional reforms adding that he was also a champion on the fight against corruption.
Mr Chanda said PAZA hopes that President Mwanawasa’s successor will also adhere to his good governance polices and reforms.