Sata declares 3 days of national mourning for Sakeni
President Michael Sata has declared three days of national mourning in honour of the late Information and Broadcasting Services Minister and Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni who died in the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) yesterday.
President Sata said the three days of national mourning commence on Sunday, 8th September and will run through to Tuesday, 10th September, 2013.
This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska.
The Head of State said during this period, which starts from 06:00 hours to 18:00 hours until the burial day, all flags will fly at half-mast and activities of entertainment nature should be postponed or canceled.
The late Mr. Sakeni, who died at the age of 56, will be put to rest on Tuesday, 10th September, 2013 and burial arrangements will be communicated later.
He said the burial of Mr. Sakeni will be preceded by a requiem service at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus on Sunday 8thSeptember at 12:30 hours.
Mr. Sakeni has since been accorded a state funeral in accordance with guidelines on state functions.
The late minister was also Mansa Central Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament and party’s chairman for Luapula province.
Mr. Sakeni was transferred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services as Minister on 6th July 2012 from the Ministry of Home Affairs where he served in the same capacity.
Mr. Sakeni died yesterday at the University teaching (UTH) in Lusaka and leaves behind a wife and thirteen children.
The funeral is being held at his residence, house number 5369, Brentwood Drive in Lusaka’s Woodlands area.
Meanwhile, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has said the death of Mr. Sakeni was a blow to the media industry.
MISA chairperson Nalumino Nalumino said the late Mr. Sakeni had a heart for the media and journalists at large.
In a message of condolences to the late Mr. Sakeni’s family, President Michael Sata and the nation, Mr. Nalumino said the late minister believed in dialogue and engagement on issues of freedom of expression.
He stressed that late Mr. Sakeni understood the importance of the press in sustaining Zambia’s democracy and good governance.
MISA has since described the death of late Information and Broadcasting Services minister as shocking.