President Hakainde Hichilema led hundreds of mourners at the funeral of the late Pastor, Dr. Sylvester Leeds Chilimba Hamavwa in Kazungula Village near Hamapande Rural Health Centre in Monze. Among those in attendance was Emmanuel Mwamba, who shared his bereavement with his colleagues before embarking on a journey to attend the funeral.
Despite the advice of his colleagues, who suggested that he either send his family or go with heavy security to Monze, Mwamba chose to go with his wife and son, without any security detail. This decision led to unexpected misadventures as they lost over three hours meandering through forests, villages, and plains before finally finding their way to the village.
Upon their arrival, they were met with a lot of people, cars, and heavy security detail. The Presidential Helicopter was already parked in the open field, and President Hichilema had just arrived, leading hundreds of mourners that had gathered for the funeral.
Despite the unexpected events, Mwamba was graciously welcomed by a lot of UPND party leaders and was even ushered in to see his brother, host, and Provincial Minister Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, who allowed him to greet the Head of State.
During the procession, Hon. Mweetwa recognized Mwamba in the salutation and called him to greet and speak to the people. Mwamba took the opportunity to thank President Hichilema and the UPND for receiving him and giving him assurance of his safety and security.
Mwamba also talked about the importance of loving one another in unity despite political diversity and called for the conduct of decent politics. He stated that there was no space for tribalism in Zambian politics, especially because of inter-marriages that have occurred since 1964.
President Hichilema took time in his speech to give Mwamba special recognition, speaking about the importance of the family unit and the Zambian family in general. He called for peace and unity in the nation and condemned political violence, especially as occurred under the former ruling party, the Patriotic Front Government.
President Hichilema used Mwamba’s presence at the funeral as testimony of the environment he is promoting to foster peace and unity in the nation. He said peace and unity were fundamental prerequisites to push for national development. He also informed the mourners that Dr. Hamavwa and Headman Hamavwa were his uncles.
Mwamba expressed his gratitude to President Hichilema for his kind words and gesture and for his speech aimed at promoting national unity, especially as demonstrated at this funeral. He also commended Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa for showing leadership, tolerance, and for taking it upon himself to recognize him and grant him a protocol officer.
In his entourage, President Hichilema was accompanied by the First Lady, Mama Muyinta Hichilema, Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Hon. Paul Kabuswe, and Patriotic Front Mafinga MP, Hon. Robert Chawinga. There were also numerous officials, including MPs, senior government officials, council chairpersons, and councillors.
The funeral was a fitting send-off for Dr. Hamavwa, with occasional warrior dances and songs adding to the colorful event. The message was clear: Zambia is One Zambia, One Nation, and diverse views can coexist in a democratic environment where peace and unity are fundamental prerequisites for national development.