Former Community Development and Social Services Minister Stephen Manjata, who died on Sunday this week, has been buried at Old Mulamatila cemetery in Kaoma district in Western province.
The late Mr. Manjata died at Lusaka Trust Hospital after an illness.
Hundreds of Kaoma residents, who were led by Minister of Gender Inonge Wina and several other senior government officials, turned up in their large numbers to bid farewell to the former minister and former Luampa Member of Parliament at the church and burial services.
Speaking at the church service at Kaoma Evangelical Church of Zambia (ECZ), Mrs. Wina, who was representing government, said President Michael Sata learnt of the sudden death of Mr. Manjata with great sorrow and sadness.
She said immediately after hearing about the death of Mr. Manjata, President Sata instructed government to make necessary arrangements to ensure that the former minister was granted a state funeral in recognition of his great service to the country.
She said the late Mr. Manjata was a great grassroots man who was able to interact and mix with everyone from the lowest to the highest levels in society.
Mrs. Wina said the late Mr. Manjata also had a great understanding of politics and was able read the prevailing political climate in the country.
She said early in his political career, Mr Manjata played a great role as an activist in the UNIP youth wing adding that he was also very instrumental in bringing back multiparty democracy when he joined the MMD in 1991.
She said the late former minister will be greatly missed in the political circles as he was a unifying voice even amidst high political tension.
And Western Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta said the untimely death of Mr. Manjata was a great loss not only to his family and the people of Western Province but the nation at large.
Mr Mwaliteta said as a local entrepreneur in Kaoma, Mr. Manjata played a role in creating employment for the people of Kaoma through his timber business.
He urged the family to look up to God as they mourned their beloved relative.
And giving an emotional tribute, his son, Musenge stated that his father was truly a man of the people as he embraced everyone in society regardless of their social standing in society.
Musenge said his late father’s home was always open to everyone and that he always instructed his children to allow anyone who came to his house to see him irrespective of what time they came.
He said his father also taught all his children to take each other as one although they came from different mothers.