President Edgar Lungu has honored 16 Zambians, four of whom are traditional leaders, for exemplary, gallant and distinguished service to the country.
This took place at a colorful investiture ceremony held at State House to commemorate Africa Freedom Day.
ZANIS reports that President Lungu bestowed 10 Presidential Medals of Gallantry to three pilots and six immigration officers, and one Zambia Correctional Service officer.
The Head of State honored Captain Dalitso Phiri, Chanda Katongo and Christopher Kaira of Proflight Zambia for exhibiting professionalism and courage when the plane they were flying on March 24, 2018 was faced with catastrophe after developing a fault and suffering damage in mid-air on its flight from Lusaka to Solwezi.
The three Pilots managed to fly back and landed in Lusaka saving the lives of 15 passengers on board.
President Lungu also honored six immigration officers for busting and quelling a human tracking syndicate on September 14, 2017 that resulted in the arrest of three Zambian masterminds and rescue of 15 illegal immigrants.
Also awarded for bravery was Kabwe based Zambia Correctional Service Security guard who on March 20, 2017 persuaded and saved a man from committing suicide after climbing an 80 meter high Airtel tower.
During the same event, President Lungu also bestowed the President’s Insignia of Honor on Six citizens who included four traditional leaders.
President Lungu honored Kafula Mucheleka for advocating for child protection, campaigning against Gender Based Violence (GBV), and allocating land for youth and women empowerment in his Chiefdom.
Graham Kanyama was also recognized for his efforts in fighting hunger by establishing a livestock breeding centre and contributing to economic diversification by investing in an integrated fish farming and providing 1,000 acres of land to ZESCO for execution of solar power energy projects to mitigate climate change effects in Mwinilunga district.
Luciano Malunga, who is Chief Mburuma of Luangwa District was honored for being a champion of maternal health while Isaiah Kaacha and Luka Liwoyo were honored posthumously for their dedication to community service.
Teddy Kalimanshi who started supporting 2 orphans when he was 16 years in 1999, was also honored for his distinguished support to orphans with the number having risen to over 160 in 2017.
Mr. Kalimanshi has since extended his support to include assistance to over 5,000 widows receiving entrepreneurship skills from his pockets and well-wishers.
Aside recipients receiving honors and awards, state house grounds were characterized by traditional, gospel and secular music dances from a cluster of bands and artistes as invited guests commemorated the 2018 Africa Freedom Day.
First President Kenneth Kaunda aroused cheers of amusement and support from the gathering when he danced to his famous song Tiyende Pamodzi while President Lungu gloriously responded to Malembe Malembe’s Kadonki song.
The commemorations were climaxed by a touching musical drama through the song Africa my Africa by Green Buffaloes demonstrating slavery and the fight for Africa’s liberation.
This year’s Africa Freedom Day was being celebrated under the theme ‘Winning the fight against corruption; A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”.
Those who attended the function included Vice President Inonge Wina, Dr Kaunda, fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda, Chief Justice Irene Mambilima, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini, Cabinet Ministers, diplomats, and some opposition political party leaders.