President Edgar Chagwa Lungu during the funeral of Mr Etienne Tshisekedi (Father to the DRC leader) held at Stadium the Martyrs on Saturday, 1st June, 2019. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu during the funeral of Mr Etienne Tshisekedi (Father to the DRC leader) held at Stadium the Martyrs on Saturday, 1st June, 2019. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House

President Lungu was yesterday among foreign heads of states that attended a state funeral held for veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the country’s capital Kinshasa. Opposition icon Etienne Tshisekedi, whose son is now Congo’s president, was laid to rest Saturday in his homeland more than two years after he died during a political stalemate over the country’s long-delayed elections.

Accompanying President Lungu to the funeral were Minister of Foreign Affairs Joe Malanji, Luapula Province Minister Nixon Chilangwa, Minister of Livestock Kampamba Mulenga, Copperbelt Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe and North Western Provincial Minister Richard Kapita. Others included aides, Special Assistant for Politics Kaizer Zulu and Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, Amos Chanda.

A funeral procession joined by thousands made its way to the outskirts of Kinshasa following several days of tributes to the man who was the face of Congo’s opposition for decades but died before his political nemesis agreed to step aside and allow a new presidential vote to go forward.

In life, Tshisekedi was at times put under house arrest and his supporters jailed. But on Saturday the 84-year-old received a farewell befitting a former leader now that his son, Felix, holds the presidency.

Tens of thousands greeted his casket as it was driven through the streets of the capital Thursday evening and then displayed at Martyrs Stadium the following day. Even the political coalition of his lifelong adversary, former President Joseph Kabila, issued a statement calling Tshisekedi “undoubtedly one of the major political actors of our country.”

At the time of his 2017 death in Brussels, family members say Kabila had blocked the return of his body to Congo for fear it could foment unrest and more calls for his ouster.

Tshisekedi was one of the most outspoken critics of Kabila, at one point accusing him of treason for not stepping down when his mandate ended. Kabila eventually allowed elections to be held in January, which Felix Tshisekedi won.

“I’m sorry that his body had to stay two years abroad but today we are showing our commitment to him still,” Georgette Lobota said as she sold bread at the sports stadium where Tshisekedi’s body lay in state Friday, dressed in fabric with his image. “He will finally be honored as a dignified son of Congo.”

On Saturday, Mass was celebrated and then he was interred at a mausoleum 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Kinshasa during a private ceremony with family members.

Tshisekedi helped found Congo’s main opposition party, UDPS, back in 1982 during the rule of then-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. Two years after the country allowed multiple political parties in 1990, Tshisekedi became prime minister in an uneasy on-again, off-again partnership with Mobutu.

The Zambia Delegation that accompanied President Lungu to the Funeral
The Zambia Delegation that accompanied President Lungu to the Funeral
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with his counterpart President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the funeral of Mr Etienne Tshisekedi (Father to the DRC leader) held at Stadium the Martyrs on Saturday, 1st June, 2019. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu with his counterpart President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the funeral of Mr Etienne Tshisekedi (Father to the DRC leader) held at Stadium the Martyrs on Saturday, 1st June, 2019. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza/State House
Special Assistant for Press & Public Relations, Amos Chanda. at the Funeral
Special Assistant for Press & Public Relations, Amos Chanda. at the Funeral
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (right) talks to Acting Secretary to Cabinet Patrick Kangwa (second left) on arrival from Kinshasa,Democratic Republic of Congo at Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Base in Lusaka on Saturday,June 1 ,2019. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2019
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (right) talks to Acting Secretary to Cabinet Patrick Kangwa (second left) on arrival from Kinshasa,Democratic Republic of Congo at Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Base in Lusaka on Saturday,June 1 ,2019. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2019
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34 COMMENTS

  1. PF bandits still traveling in large numbers….what happened to autistery measures…..so it was just hot air…

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    • Look at Amos posing for a photo for imagine building or what??? He continues to confirm that is an idyott #2.

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    • Really laughable..austerity measures my foot…looks like all the PF govt is there. What reckless bunch they are…

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    • In the meantime time, the the IMF has approved Zimbabwe’s IMF package. Zambia is still in Limbo. Mnagagwa appears to understand austerity and fiscal discipline better than PF

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    • They are imposing Austerity measures instead of wage cuts on themselves…how does a minister like Bowman who was a stone thrower bouncer yesterday start donating 500 bags of maize meal and thousand liters of cooking oil.
      Pilato was right when he said they want you to be poor in 2021 so they can hand food and you will say so an so is working hard.

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    • Koma some people! He even poses at a funeral. Nikuchililoo!
      Look at his face. He even pretends to be sad. As if Tshisekedi was his relative. These actors someone put in state house

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    • They just went for a plane ride in the new 100 million dollar plane. By the way, it too, was bought on loan and Zambia defaulted on its first payment.

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  2. I need some advice you people especially from black women. However all are welcome to comment. Whenever me and my Swiss wife are out and about we face angry stares from mostly black women. We once had a Jamaican woman give my Swiss wife Elisa an evil look and said stop stealing our strong men. Guys what are your thoughts?

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    • Ichalo sorry if you feel that way. However I look forward to advice on this predicament. Alternatively await mushota post and then comment on it.

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    • Don’t feed the troll he is a bad one. He tries to be Mushota but this one is a bad troll don’t reply to it.

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    • The problem with haters is that they find it hard to mind their own business. You are saying ignore me and yet you are commenting. We know that to social misfits like Jay Jay this website is their life. This is why you see him behaving like he is paid to write the c.r.a.p he spills all over this website. Jay Jay is like that talkative unemployed useless uncle of the family. Eff off

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  3. ECL, you have failed to attend funerals of very important departed Zambians in the country but quick mukulibonesha.

    Zambia should have been represented by the foreign mission in that country.

    On a different topic, we await you comment(s) on the allegedly 1.5 million personal donation by your Minister Lusambo.

    God bless Zambia.

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    • This why I laugh when people say Lazy Lungu should stand in 2021 as the komboni man doesn’t understand what Zambia needs to do to get through…his recklessness is on full display at this funeral where all his staff are present…the man hardly attends funerals in Lusaka but flies to Kinshasa to attend someone’s father funeral…even people who are supposed to be at KCM are there taking selfies.

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    • So is Lungu alone without civil servants in Kinshasa? Cos LT you told us that:
      Government suspends foreign and local travels for Permanent Secretaries and Directors

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  4. Oh by the way lungus fate will be the same. Once out of power he will face criminal charges at the ICC in the hague. He will then spend years locked up and die there. His body only allowed back if another mbeba is voted in

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  5. Why was it so important to have such a huge delegation to a funeral of a person who died two years ago?WASTING OUR RESOURCES!! The composition of the team would have been fine if it was a meeting aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation where key issues; economic integration and matters of cross border security were discussed.This was a FUNERAL,NOT A MEETING! The Ambassador would have sufficed! To cure the hurt against Lungu’s inappropriately issued statements about Felix’s election,Lungu must organise/request a different meeting altogether,NOT HIDING IN FUNERALS AND WASTING OUR MONEY LIKE THAT!!

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    • Bowman is a rich man today making huge donation whilst the poor get poorer and poorer, dollar is now K13…they have a cavalier attitude to current affairs he donating food to people to for a day from questionable sources of income just after FIC report is released. He is lucky the DEC and ZRA are controlled by State House thugs.

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  6. I thought he has stopped traveling. Attending the funeral I’ve no problem because missing the inauguration of DRC President was n error. We need proper relationships with DRC as history dictates.BUT WHY DID PRESIDENT LUNGU FAIL TO ATTEND PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA’S INAUGURATION. WAS HE AFRAID OF MALEMA OR BECAUSE CORRUPT ZUMA IS OUT? RSA is an important country to relate well with. THOSE WHO ADVISE THE PRESIDENT SHOULD TELL HIM WHICH COUNTRIES ARE IMPORTANT TO VISIT OR ATTEND EVENTS AND WERE TO SEND REPS!

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    • @7 Black envelope, he didn’t miss Felix Tshisekedi’s inauguration per se,he was simply NOT invites bcoz he rubbished Felix election BUT USING INNAPPROPRIATE PROCEDURES! HE STILL HAS TO MEND FENCES WITH FELIX TSHISEKEDI!!

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  7. Even watching his Motorcade yesterday proved we are not going anywhere with this man! His motorcade is still the largest in Africa and running a motorcade is very expensive!
    Austerity measures require cost cutting in many areas including cutting down on fuel cost by cutting down the number of vehicles to the required minimum! How did Ian Kharma and Festus Mogae of Botswana manage a Motorcade of vehicles less than Five utmost?
    Austerity is a principle you observe in less and in plenty!
    In any case, it’s pointless advising PF! Zambia died the moment ECL was allowed near the throne! Remember even Pigeons refused to fly during his inaugural ceremony!

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  8. HH must tame his barbaric cadres and teach them salient points on diplomacy. The elections in Congo DR marked the beginning of stability in this country. Presence of presidents from Angola, Rwanda and Zambia at the State Funeral signals the quest for lasting peace in the Congo DR which will usher in tangible trade between Congo and its sister states. The Zambian delegation embracing Provincial Ministers from Luapula, Copperbelt and North-west offered our Ministers an opportunity to appreciate problems that have afflicted the Congo DR whose boarder is shared by 3 Zambian provinces. Peace is vital for international trade in southern Africa.

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