UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that Cardinal Joseph Medardo Mazombwe should have been granted a national mourning.
Last year in June, president Michael Sata granted a national mourning for former Zambia Episcopal Conference Secretary General Father Ignatius Mwebe, a very junior priest compared to Cardinal Mazombwe. See here http://www.postzambia.com/post-read_article.php?articleId=28220
Father Mweebe was buried on June 25, 2012 at Chilubula Mission 30km from Kasama.
The first Zambian Cardinal Mazombwe was born on 24 Sep 1931 at Katete in the Eastern Province of Zambia. He was one of the very few cardinals on the continent. To show how important he was, the Pope himself wrote to the Catholic Church in Zambia to mourn with them.
But Hichilema said considering Mazombwe’s work, it was important that the late Cardinal was granted a national mourning.
“He did tremendous work for the body of Christ and for this nation, we thank him for everything he did for Zambia. His legacy will live on,” Mr Hichilema said.
“Am not sure how the President exercises his discretion. One thing for sure is that if we were the ones in office, we would have accorded the Cardinal a national mourning. This is not a debatable matter.”
He said Zambia has in the past honoured several individuals with national mourning and that the same should have been accorded to Cardinal Mazombwe.
Cardinal Joseph Medardo Mazombwe who died last week was put to rest Tuesday afternoon at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka.