Ex-Zambia midfielder Linos Makwaza says memories of the 1993 Gabon Air disaster victims are still fresh 23 years after the catastrophe.
Zambia is on Thursday marking the 23rd anniversary of the Gabon disaster that claimed the entire national team that was flying to Senegal for a 1994 World Cup qualifier.
The disaster occurred in the evening of 27 April 1993 when a Zambia Air Force plane carrying the team ditched into the Atlantic Ocean metres offshore from Libreville, Gabon killing all 25 passengers and five crew members.
In an interview in Kitwe, Makwaza who played together with the fallen heroes said marking the Gabon disaster will forever remain significant among Zambians.
“It seems like yesterday and memories of our colleagues are still fresh,” Makwaza said.
“I think what’s more painful is seeing the children of our fallen heroes,” he said.
Makwaza was dropped from the Zambia squad days before the fateful journey.
“The commemoration of the Gabon disaster is very important and it will remain important. Those guys were heroes who died on national duty,” he said.
Makwaza added:” I think we should remember that day and it could have been better to arrange a friendly match for the national team in memory of our heroes.”
LIST OF VICTIMS
Colonel Fenton Mhone (pilot)
Lt Colonel Victor Mubanga (pilot)
Lt Colonel James Sachika (pilot)
Warrant Officer Edward Nambote (fitter)
Corporal Tomson Sakala (steward)
Efford Chabala (goalkeeper)
John Soko (defender)
Whiteson Changwe (defender)
Robert Watiyakeni (defender)
Eston Mulenga (midfielder)
Derby Makinka (midfielder)
Moses Chikwalakwala (midfielder)
Wisdom Mumba Chansa (midfielder)
Kelvin “Malaza” Mutale (striker)
Timothy Mwitwa (striker)
Numba Mwila (midfielder)
Richard Mwanza (goalkeeper)
Samuel Chomba (defender)
Moses Masuwa (striker)
Kenan Simambe (defender)
Godfrey Kangwa (midfielder)
Winter Mumba (defender)
Patrick “Bomber” Banda (striker)
Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (coach)
Alex Chola (assistant coach)
Wilson Mtonga (doctor)
Michael Mwape (FAZ Chairman)
Nelson Zimba (public servant)
Joseph Bwalya Salim (journalist)