BURIAL plans of Betty Kaunda took yet another twist yesterday, when her husband Kenneth Kaunda decided that she will be buried in Lusaka instead of Chinsali.
Dr Kaunda’s son, Kaweche, said his father made the ‘difficult’ decision to change the venue of his wife’s burial place after extensive discussions with close family members.
“We expressed concerns regarding our mother resting in Chinsali,” Kaweche told the Daily Mail without elaborating.
“I can now tell you that after a comprehensive look into the matter and serious discussions…the old man consented to one thing – that his beloved wife will be buried here in Lusaka, close to him,” Kaweche said.
Efforts are also being made by the family to see whether the statesman can give them consent to bury his wife in his absence, in a bid to reduce the stress and exhaustion that got him admitted to hospital last Friday.
Mama Betty Kaunda, 83, will be buried at the family residence in the State Lodge area, according to a tentative family plan.
The announcement came just before acting Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska announced the extension of the period of national mourning of the former First Lady to this Friday from yesterday.
“President Sata has extended the period of national mourning which was declared in honour of Mama Betty, for five days ending Friday September 28, 2012 when burial will take place at 10:00 hours.
During this period, all flags will continue to fly at half-mast and activities of an entertainment nature should be postponed or cancelled,” Dr Msiska said.
Dr Msiska said international sports events will be held as scheduled and will follow international standard practice of observing a minute of silence while sportsmen and women must wear black armbands.
“In the meantime, the first president Dr Kaunda continues to receive treatment at the University Teaching Hospital and has made considerable progress,” Dr Msiska said.