Queen Elizabeth II has sent a message of condolences to President Hakainde Hichilema and the people of Zambia on the death of the fourth Republican President, Rupiah Banda.
In her message to President Hichilema yesterday, the Queen has described the late former President, Mr. Banda, as a ceaseless advocate for peace, reconciliation, and democracy, who had a lifelong record of service to the people of Zambia.
She expressed profound sadness that Zambia has, in less than one year, had to lose a second great statesman after the death of founding President, Kenneth Kaunda last year.
Queen Elizabeth II has however urged Zambians to take pride in the legacy of Mr. Banda and Dr. Kaunda for their leadership to the nation.
Elizabeth II is the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. She is also the Head of the Commonwealth.
This is contained in a press statement made available to the media in Lusaka yesterday by President Hichilema’s Spokesperson, Anthony Bwalya.
Meanwhile, Britain has eulogized the late fourth republican president Rupiah Banda and described him as a wonderful ambassador for Zambia and a great ally of the United Kingdom (UK).
British High Commissioner to Zambia, Nicholas Woolley, said the late president was enthusiastic in increasing the links of the two nations in football, technology and science.
Mr. Wooley noted that Queen Elizabeth II has written to the government of Zambia personally expressing her deepest condolences and the demise of Mr. Banda.
“The Queen has acknowledged the important role he had for all Zambians as a peace builder,” he said.
Mr. Woolley said this when He and his Wife, Debra Woolley, conveyed their condolences to the former first lady, Thandiwe Banda, at Belvedere lodge in Lusaka today.
Belvedere lodge in Lusaka has been designated as a place where people mourning the late Mr. Banda will gather.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government said Mr. Banda made an outstanding contribution toward the development of the Zambia-China Friendship Association (ZCFA).
And Chinese Embassy Charge d’ Affaires, Lai Bo, said the late Mr. Banda will be remembered as an old friend for the Chinese people.
He added that the Chinese Embassy believes that the Zambia-China relations will continue to bear fruits.
“I wish to express our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy to you and the bereaved family,” he said.
And Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Ryuta Mizuuchi said Mr. Banda will be remembered for the solidarity he shared when he visited the embassy after the great earthquake happened in Japan in 2011.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Joe Malanji, commended the late Mr. Banda for enhancing international relations between Zambia and other countries during and after his tenure as president.
Mr. Malanji disclosed that Zambia partly benefited in terms of infrastructure development that were successful due to the legacy and interactions the late Mr. Banda had with other countries.