President Hakainde Hichilema joined hundreds of mourners from all walks of life to put to rest the late Ronnie Shikapwasha who died on January 15, 2024.
Speaking during the church service held at Mulungushi International Conference in Lusaka, President Hichilema described the late Lieutenant General Shikapwasha as a dignified son of the soil.
President Hichilema said his commitment, professionalism and dedication to duty is something that the country will forever remain cherishing.He said the late Lt General Shikapwasha demonstrated what it means to serve the country diligently without hidden agendas.
President Hichilema noted that people become leaders for different reasons among them selfish needs adding that this is not what the late Shikapwasha believed.
The Head of State said the late Lt General Shikapwasha believed in hard work and that is what the country should emulate to develop.
“ It is sad that we are putting to rest this man who I was with some months ago. We shared a lot of words and today he is no more, “ President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema has since urged the family and the Zambian people to mourn the deceased in dignity despite the circumstances that led to his death.
And former Katuba Member of Parliament, Jonas Shakafuswa who spoke on behalf of chiefs, said the chiefs have described the late Lt General Shikapwasha as a man who unified all traditional leaders in the country.
Mr Shakafuswa thanked the government for the good send off of their son, Lt General Shikapwasha.
Zambia Army Director Religious and Moral Services Reverend Shadreck Mwale encouraged mourners to always think about death and make peace with God.Rev Mwale said death is a mystery and people should make sure that while alive they should do the best and live a good life.
In giving tributes, Former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa who represented the siblings to the late, described him as a loving and caring brother who was also rooted to life affairs.
Ms Mwanawasa said the late Shikapwasha exhibited exceptional leadership skills not only to government but also to the family.
And Tusa Shikapwasha who is one of the children of the late Lt General Shikapwasha described him as a loving and caring father.
Ms Shikapwasha noted that the children will always remember how he taught them about dedication and commitment to duty adding that they will continue to live as he guided them.
Betty Kongela, one of his grandchildren said they will remember his grandfather as a man who used to bring the family together.
And in giving the service life history for the late Shikapwasha , Zambia Air Force Brigadier General Rueben Mwansa said the late was dedicated to duty and was an inspiration to many.
And giving a church history for the late Lt General Shikapwasha, Jesus His Life Church Zambia Raymond Chishala said the late was ordained as pastor in 2004.
Pastor Chishala observed that his selfless devotion to God, at some point in time sponsored 30 pastors who were deployed to different churches across the country.
He noted that his dedication to God, also saw the church opening nine other branches in Lusaka and others around the country.
Pastor Chishala added that apart from being dedicated to God, the late Shikapwashahad a loving heart as he used to help vulnerable people adding that the church will continue riding on his teachings and way of life.