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CHIEFS WELCOME KK BURIAL PROGRAMME

By KALOBWE BWALYA and SIMON MUNTEMBA

THE decision by Government and the Kaunda family to have Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s remains taken around to all the 10 Provinces has received overwhelming support from the chiefs, the church and other stakeholders while Dr Tilyenji Kaunda has cautioned politicians to stop politicizing the funeral and making wild, unfounded allegations.

And the Kaunda family has taken exception to allegations from UNZA lecturer, Sishuwa Sishuwa for claiming that it was not the family wish to take Dr Kaunda’s body round the country.

Tilyenji  said the Kaunda family does not know Sishuwa Sishuwa and his allegations have nothing to do with the family.

Reacting to remarks attributed to Sishuwa Sishuwa that contrary to Vice President Inonge Wina claim that it is the family’s wish for Dr Kaunda’s body to be taken to all the 10 provinces, Mr Tilyenji said that the allegations are baseless.

He challenged Mr Sishuwa to tell the nation which family member revealed that to him.

He said the family had sat down to discuss the funeral proceedings, therefore people should not sit down and start reading other people’s minds by making fake allegations.

He said Dr Kaunda stood for unity and this is the time for the country to stand for unity and show  love to one another and not pointing figures.

Dr  Kaunda said it was not fair that some people are reading bad intensions and want to drag the name of the government into disrepute which is not fair at all.    

He however advised  Shisiwa not to drag the Kaunda family into his personal matters  because he was not part of the family.

He said Dr Kaunda was a stateman , and the suggestion to take the body  around the country was not government suggestion, but Dr Kaunda’s family.

And Chief Chikanta of the Tonga people said the decision was welcome as Dr Kaunda deserved such honour.

This was also done when 3rd republican President Levy Mwanawasa passed on in 2008.

He said the move  would accord citizens an opportunity to pay their last respects to their  former national leader.

And opposition Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo said taking his body across the country would be a befitting gesture for Dr Kaunda.

Vice President Inonge Wina yesterday announced that it was the wish of the family of Dr. Kaunda, that his remains be taken around to all the 10 Provinces of Zambia and the Government has agreed to respect that decision.

Ms Wina said the programme for the Provincial visits would commence in Choma, Southern Province on Wednesday, June 23, and end in Lusaka Province on Monday July 5.

The Vice President also said to accord the founding father respect and dignity, while showing love and support to the family and in compliance with the national Covid-19 protocols, there shall be no physical body viewing.

Reacting to the announcement in an interview, Chief Chikanta of  Kalomo in Southern Province who welcomed the move said Dr Kaunda was a great leader who deserved to  last respects from the citizens.

Meanwhile, PeP president Sean Tembo said it would only be in order that  his body be taken across the country so that an opportunity is given to the majority of Zambians to mourn him.

Ms Wina also announced that Dr Kaunda, shall be put to rest at the Presidential Burial Site on Wednesday July 7, 2021 at a very private ceremony for family and selected invited mourners only but will be broadcast live on television, radio, and social media to allow Zambians and the international community to follow the proceedings.

Therefore, she said, and in respecting his legacy, party regalia or party symbols of any kind, including party-branded face masks, will not be allowed at any activity during this period of mourning Dr. Kaunda.

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