State House Press Office – 2018-08-19 17:58:57

Government

SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA, DURING THE CHURCH SERVICE IN HONOUR OF HIS EXCELLENCY THE LATE DR. LEVY PATRICK MWANAWASA, SC HELD AT THE CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS, LUSAKA ON SUNDAY, 19TH AUGUST, 2018 • DR. MAUREEN MWANAWASA, THE FORMER FIRST LADY; • HIS EXCELLENCY MR. RUPIAH BWEZANI BANDA, THE FOURTH REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT; • FORMER VICE-PRESIDENTS PRESENT; • CURRENT AND FORMER MINISTERS; • LEADERS OF OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES PRESENT; • MEMBERS OF THE PRESS; • MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND ALL PRESENT: I THANK THE LEVY MWANAWASA FOUNDATION AND THE MWANAWASA FAMILY FOR INVITING US ALL TO COME AND JOIN THEM IN HONOURING THE MEMORY OF OUR LATE PRESIDENT DR. LEVY PATRICK MWANAWASA, SC. SINCE HE PASSED ON TEN YEARS AGO. A DECADE MAY HAVE PASSED SINCE HIS PASSING ON BUT OUR THOUGHTS ARE STILL FRESH WITH SOME OF HIS IDEALS AND THE MANNER IN WHICH HE MANAGED THE AFFAIRS OF THE STATE. OUR PARTY THE PATRIOTIC FRONT, VIVIDLY REMEMBER AND WARMLY FEEL THE BROTHERLY HAND-SHAKE WHICH THE LATE PRESIDENT MWANAWASA EXTENDED TO OUR LATE PRESIDENT MICHAEL CHILUFYA SATA. WE EQUALLY REMEMBER THE ASSISTANCE PRESIDENT MWANAWASA RENDERED TO MR SATA TO ENSURE THAT HE RECEIVED THE MEDICAL ATTENTION AT THE TIME, HE WAS UNWELL. THIS WAS TRULY A SIGN OF A GREAT LEADER IN LATE PRESIDENT MWANAWASA WHOSE GESTURE TRANSCENDED POLITICS. TODAY, THE SEED OF NATIONAL BUILDING WHICH PRESIDENT MWANAWASA PLANTED IS SEEN BY OUR COLLABORATION WITH SOME OF THE MMD MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT. MANY OF THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE WILL STILL REMEMBER HIM FOR HIS SELFLESS DEMEANOUR. AS WE REMEMBER OUR LATE PRESIDENT, WE DRAW ON HIS STRENGTH AS A LEADER AND AS A PRACTICING POLITICIAN. WHAT DID HE STAND FOR? WHAT WERE HIS IDEALS? WHAT WERE HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS? AND INDEED WHAT WERE HIS CHALLENGES AND FAILURES? ABOVE ALL, WE SHOULD NOT FAIL TO RECOGNISE THAT AFTER ALL, HE WAS NOT A SAINT BUT JUST A NORMAL HUMAN BEING. PRESIDENT MWANAWASA HAD A VISION FOR ZAMBIA TO BE A JUST SOCIETY IN WHICH THE RULE OF LAW PREVAILED, AND WHERE ALL CITIZENS HAD EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, REGARDLESS OF THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES. OUR LATE PRESIDENT ENVISAGED A COUNTRY WITH ABUNDANT JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE YOUNG AND ABLE, WHERE HUNGER WOULD BE RELEGATED TO THE HISTORY BOOKS, AND A COUNTRY WHICH LIVED AT PEACE WITH HER NEIGHBOURS AND THE ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THESE WERE ALL NOBLE IDEALS AND OBJECTIVES WHICH OUR LATE PRESIDENT ENDEAVOURED TO ACHIEVE AND I CAN ATTEST TO THAT. FOR NOW I CAN ONLY ASSUME AS TO HOW OUR LATE PRESIDENT FELT SITTING IN THAT OFFICE. FIRST IS THE REALISATION THAT WE LIVE IN A REAL AND LIVE WORLD. MOST OF THE VICES IN OUR SOCIETIES ARE DEEP ROOTED. HOW CAN YOU HAVE A JUST SOCIETY WHEN WE STILL LIVE IN COMMUNITIES WHERE THE GIRL CHILD IS DENIED OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPLOIT THEIR FULL POTENTIAL, AS THEY ARE STILL BEING REGARDED AS COMMODITIES TO FEND FOR THEIR NUCLEAR FAMILIES BY FORCING THEM INTO EARLY MARRIAGES? MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, DESPITE THE IDEALS THAT OUR LATE PRESIDENT PROPAGATED AND STRIVED FOR, OUR COUNTRY ZAMBIA IS STILL CONFRONTED WITH VARIOUS CHALLENGES. NONETHELESS, WE CANNOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE FACT THAT HE MADE HIS CONTRIBUTION WITH HONOUR. ALL THESE ACCOLADES WHICH HAVE BEEN SHOWERED ON HIM THE PAST FEW DAYS IS A TESTIMONY OF THE CITIZENS RECOGNITION AND APPRECIATION OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS. MRS. MWANAWASA AND FAMILY, ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE NATION, AND INDEED ON MY OWN BEHALF, WE THANK YOU FOR AFFORDING US THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HONOUR OUR LATE PRESIDENT. THE LATE PRESIDENT IS A TRUE BEACON OF HOW A CITIZEN AND INDEED A LEADER OUGHT TO BE. WE NOW HAVE THE ONUS TO KEEP OUR LATE PRESIDENT’S LEGACY ALIVE. CIRCUMSTANCES MAY CHANGE, BUT WITH THE CONVICTION THAT BUILDING A JUST SOCIETY IS POSSIBLE, WE SHOULD THEREFORE, BE ABLE TO NAVIGATE OUR NATION TO THAT STATE WHICH OUR CITIZENS SO MUCH DESIRE AND DESERVE. TODAY, WE REMEMBER OUR LATE PRESIDENT MWANAWASA, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO IN YEARS TO COME BECAUSE OF HIS SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF MOTHER ZAMBIA. WE PRAY THAT HIS SOUL CONTINUES TO REST IN ETERNAL PEACE. I THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

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