It was the usual routine on Tuesday as Zambia marked the 22nd Anniversary of the Gabon Air Disaster that claimed the entire national soccer team in 1993.
Disaster struck on the night of 27th April just after a stopover in the Gabonese capital Libraville as the Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu coached side was flying to Senegal for a 1994 World Cup qualifier.
As per tradition, families of the disaster victims visited the burial site branded Heroes Acre in Lusaka in the morning for the memorial.
Speaking to journalists during the memorial, Martin Mutale the brother of deceased striker Kelvin Mutale slammed the state of the burial site located at Independence Stadium.
“When you look at this place (Heroes Acre) how do you see it? That’s why I am saying it is a shame,” Mutale told reporters.
FAZ president and ex-Zambia skipper Kalusha Bwalya also visited Heroes Acre in his personal capacity.
Kalusha was not part of the perished team as he was scheduled to link up with the national team in Senegal.
“I think the Gabon disaster is not for FAZ alone but for all Zambians,” he said.
Kalusha urged the local media to highlight the achievements of the fallen heroes.
“It is up to the media to write and honour the people and show the World that in Zambia will believe in our history.
I think it is up to you guys (journalists) to showcase what 1988, 1990,1992 and 1993 itself meant for Zambian football,” he said.