THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
For Immediate Release
PRESIDENT SATA COUNSELS HICHILEMA
LUSAKA, Wednesday, September 4, 2013 – His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, has dismissed as outrageous and insensitive UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s remarks that the state did not accord the late Medardo Cardinal Joseph Mazombwe a befitting funeral.
On Tuesday, during an interview with one of the television stations in Lusaka, Mr. Hichilema criticised President Sata for delegating Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, to attend Cardinal Mazombwe’s funeral.
But the Head of State, who described Mr. Hichilema’s remarks as ill-timed and insensitive to the Catholic community, advised the UPND leader to always strive for unanimity and maturity especially in times when the nation is expected to hold together as one.
“It is clear that this deliberate recklessness is calculated at inciting a crisis through the media. This is very sad indeed particularly that common courtesy and decency demand that leaders of Mr. Hichilema’s stature should be cognisant of the fact that funerals are very emotive and private situations where politics should not even be thought about,” President Sata said.
“Funerals are a moment of grief and remembrance and the UPND leader must realise that mourning is a personal spiritual commitment of passion, love and respect for the deceased. And anything short of this is pure hypocrisy and posturing. Let him learn to attend funerals with an upright heart and good intentions. He should know when it’s time for politics and time for mourning.”
President Sata said by coming out so inconsiderate, self-centred and self-righteous at a dignified cleric’s funeral, Mr. Hichilema is only petitioning his own capacity as a leader.
“Mr. Hichilema should be mindful that his routine and embarrassing display of reckless and insensitive cheek will not add any meaningful value to his standing or political ambition. He needs to learn to sell a personal image of unity, humility, compassion and patriotism,” President Sata said.
The President said the state will not lower itself to Mr. Hichilema’s level by publicly announcing the extent of assistance and contribution it made towards Cardinal Mazombwe’s funeral.
“Cardinal Mazombwe was a dignified man and I would urge all of us to mourn him as such,” he said.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS