Regina Chiluba, Errol Hickey die 

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:13:13 +0000

 

By CHIKUMBI KATEBE

WIDOW of the late second republican President Frederick Chiluba, Regina Chifunda Chiluba died at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

In a similar development Radio Phoenix founder and media guru Errol Hickey has died, aged 73.

Mr Hickey died at his Makeni Villa house surrounded by family and friends yesterday following a similar long battle with cancer.

And President Edgar Lungu says he is deeply saddened by the passing away of late Second Republican President Dr Frederick Chiluba’s widow Regina who died on Sunday after an illness.

The President described Mrs Chiluba as a strong and supportive spouse who firmly stood by her husband.

In a statement released by his press aide Amos Chanda, President Lungu extolled Mrs Chiluba’s tremendous contribution to the success of MMD particularly in mobilising the women to rally behind the former ruling party.

The President extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved Chiluba  and Chifunda families and urged them to find fortitude in the Almighty God as they mourn.

“Her passing away is not only a great loss to her family but also to the entire nation and particularly the womenfolk. On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Zambia and indeed on my own behalf, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with them during this difficult period. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” the President said.

Meanwhile, the President has regretted the passing away of Mr Hickey, a pioneer in the development of Zambia’s first private radio broadcasting.

The President hailed Mr Hickey for his ingenuity and unwavering commitment to take radio broadcasting to the level that it is in Zambia today.s

President Lungu said Mr Hickey an icon in the media industry will not only be missed by the media fraternity but also the entire country. The President has extended his profound condolences to the bereaved family and wished them God’s solace and strength as they go through this trying moment.

“On behalf of Government and the people of the Republic of Zambia and indeed on my own behalf, we commiserate with the bereaved family. May the Soul of Mr Hickey rest in peace,” the President said.

Minister of Information and Chief Government spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga, in her message of condolences to the Chiluba family, expressed shock at the passing of Ms Chiluba and prayed for God to strengthen the bereaved family during the mourning period.

On the death of Mr Hickey Ms Mulenga said his passing has robbed the media fraternity of an innovative and hardworking journalist. “His death has robbed the media fraternity and the nation at large of a selfless, innovative and hardworking journalist who contributed greatly to the development of the industry and the country.

“He mentored several journalists who later set up their own radio stations across the country,” she said. She explained that Mr Hickey contributed immensely to the information and education of the people of Zambia through informative programmes such as the popular “Let the People talk” that focused on national issues.

Ms Mulenga urged upcoming journalists to emulate Mr Hickey in raising the media industry to greater heights as well as in keeping the nation informed, educated and entertained.

And Zambia’s ambassador to China Mumba Kapumpa has eulogized the late media guru for his role in pioneering relevance in private radio broadcasting.

Ambassador Kapumpa said the former Times chief photographer was a great, talented, fearless photo-journalist and a pleasant fellow who achieved his life’s dream to see Radio Phoenix be a trend setter in radio broadcasting.

“In 1998, Errol, Frank Mutubila and I sat together in Errol’s office at Radio Phoenix on 12th Floor ZIMCO House to design Let the People Talk, a live radio talk show, which we pioneered.

“The programme later became the flagship of Radio Phoenix. Frank presented it on Thursdays while I did the Friday edition,” he said.

And civil rights activist and former Zambia Independent Monitoring Team (ZIMT) president Alfred Zulu described Mr Hickey among the brilliant celebrities as a legend in radio broadcasting.

“Errol Hickey decidedly was one of the most professional men in electronic media. He steadfastly marshalled the space of FM radio broadcasting when it was too dangerous to do. He never stumbled or trampled on anyone’s toes – neither Government, civil society or the corporate world,” he said.

Mr Zulu said the late Phoenix owner elevated electronic FM radio broadcasting to higher heights and for that the people of Zambia would forever remember him.

And former Radio Phoenix journalist Priscila Chipulu described her ex-boss as a great man who would be widely missed by all the people who interacted with him, adding: “You gave me so many opportunities to develop my career as a journalist! Thank you very much! Go well my mentor”.

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