Ailing dictator president Michael Sata has shed crocodile tears at the death of former Minister of Defence Benjamin Mwila, the man he hounded out of the MMD when he was National Secretary and now claims he is deeply saddened.
Mr Mwila died in South Africa on Saturday.
Even when Sata assumed the republican presidency, one of his many acts was to immediately cancel Benjamin Mwila’s road contract from Landless Corner to Mumbwa.
But now in his death, Sata wants to be the chief mourner by instructing the Zambia Mission in South Africa to make sure that Mr. BY’s remains are properly packaged and brought to Zambia.
Mr. Sata never even visited BY during his illness, but now in his message of condolences to the Mwila family, he said the late Mr Mwila, 70, rendered a gallant service to the country and its people.
This is contained in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by special assistant to the President for press and public relations, George Chellah.
“It is with a deep sense of shock and sorrow that I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Mwila family on the loss of this dedicated and steadfast compatriot,” Mr Sata said.
The President said he remembers the late Mr Mwila from his early days as a proficient entrepreneur who devoted his professional and political career to the cause of the country.
“No doubt, during his distinguished business and political career, our departed colleague served this country with brilliance and vigilance in the many national tasks he executed.
“Therefore, his distinguished services will be deeply missed by all of us.
We beseech the Almighty God to grant the bereaved family comfort and strength during this difficult period,” Mr Sata said.
The late Mr Mwila served as Minister of Defence in the first MMD Cabinet as well as Minister of Energy and Water Development, among other positions.
And Mr Mwila’s son, Joe, said his father died at a South African hospital where he was admitted for malaria for two weeks.
The funeral gathering is at House Number 9721, Central Street in Chudleigh, Lusaka.
Mr. Sata, who himself is also now terminally ailing, is normally known to mock the illness and death of his opponents such as late Gorge Kunda who he said had red lips, Levy Mwanawasa whom he said was a cabbage, Anderson Mazoka, whom he said his trousers were falling and Frank Mutubila whom he said had AIDS.