President Rupiah Banda and and his wife Thandiwe Banda today laid wreaths at his late first wife Hope Mwansa Banda’s grave at Old Leopard’s Hill Cemetery in Lusaka.
President Banda also laid a wreath in memory of the late son of a South African National Congress( ANC) freedom fighter Billy Modese who died in Zambia on 28th December, 1977.
And speaking at the memorial Service of his late wife at Leopards Hill Cemetery in Lusaka today, President Banda described the occasion as special because it gave him an opportunity to be joined by his South African old friends whom he lived together with during the freedom struggle.
President Banda said the Modese family lived in Zambia during their country’s liberation struggle.
Mr. Banda further said his late wife, Hope Mwansa Banda went to school in Switzerland where his family friends such as Henry Makuku was a lecturer at the University of Switzerland adding that the Modese family grew up together with his wife in that country.
He said even when his wife Hope Mwansa Banda was sick in South Africa, the Modese family was there to render all the necessary support they could unitl at the time of the death of Mrs. Banda.
The President stated that he spent one year in South Africa when his wife was hospitalized for cancer, the disease which the President said killed his wife and added that he was looked after well by the Modese family.
And commenting on the late son of a South African National Congress Freedom Fighter Billy Modese, President Banda said Tshipo Modese, who died in 1977, died as a young man and wished Tshipo would have been alive today to see his age mates like his son Henry Banda whom he said was born almost at the same time.
He said it was sad that Tshipo died at the time when his father was busy with the liberation of South Africa during the apartheid era.
He thanked the family members both from South Africa and Zambia for having found time to pay tribute to late Tshipo Modese whom the President said died at a tender age after an illness.
President Banda’s late wife Hope Mwansa Banda was born on 29th August, 1941 and died on 11th October, 2000 in South Africa and was buried at Leopards Hill Cemetery.
Tshipo Modese, the late son of South African (ANC) freedom fighter Billy Modese was born on 28 December, 1965 in Sweden and died in Zambia after an illness on 22nd September, 1977.
The Memorial service was attended by President Banda, his wife Thandiwe, Mr. Billy Modese and his wife Olisa Modese and other family members both from Zambia and South Africa.