Fallen heroes saluted
Published On October 24, 2014 » 2333 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » HOME SLIDE SHOW, SHOWCASE
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By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE
ACTING President Edgar Lungu yesterday led foreign dignitaries, diplomats, former freedom fighters and service men and woman in laying wreaths to honour fallen heroes who fought for Zambia’s independence.
The event, which started around 08:45 hours, was characterised by a colourful fly and march past by service personnel and a 21-gun salute.
Zambia’s two former presidents, Kenneth Kaunda and Rupiah Banda, also laid wreaths.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki, former Malawi president Bakili Muluzi and former Bostwan president Festus Mogae were also present.
Kenya Deputy President William Ruto, his Uganda counterpart Edward Ssekandi, Mozambique’s Prime Minister Alberto Vaguina, China’s vice-chairperson of the National People’s Congress Xi Jinping Xiangbapingcuo were among the visiting dignitaries that attended the ceremony.
MMD president Nevers Mumba, Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi, National Restoration Party (NAREP) leader Elias Chipimo and People’s Party President Mike Mulongoti were among opposition political parties that attended the ceremony.
Senior Government officials, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini, acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda, judges, church, traditional leaders and freedom fighters were present.
Zambia Air Force Chaplain, Father Eugene Nyambe, in his homily, called for reconciliation and continued peace and unity among Zambians.
Speaking in an interview during the event, Government spokesperson Joseph Katema said he was amazed with the number of visitors that had come to celebrate with Zambia.
Dr Katema said differences and challenges in the country should not stand in the way of the celebrations.
He said he was pleased with the number of Zambians who attended the overnight celebrations that were held on Thursday night at Heroes Stadium.
Mr Chipimo said it was nice that the celebrations had brought Zambians and people across Africa together.
He said that the celebrations were a national event which should be taken seriously by everyone regardless of their political affiliations.
Mr Chipimo said it was unfortunate that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema had not attended the celebrations.
Dr Mumba said independence celebrations, especially the Golden Jubilee, was a national event and was happy that people had united in celebrating the event.
He was happy that most political parties found it worthwhile to attend the celebrations.
British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton congratulated Zambia on its milestone achievement.
He said Britain was happy that Zambia had made tremendous progress in its 50 years of independence.
Mr Thornton said that Zambians had kept the flag of peace high by the way they continued to live in unity and peace.
Meanwhile, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi has sent congratulations to Zambia on its Golden Jubilee.
President Sisi has also confirmed Egypt’s keenness on promoting cooperation and developing the brotherly relations between the two countries.

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