FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28th October 2014
The Kariba Jubilee Tragedy
It is with great pain and sorrow that UPND join the rest of the country in mourning the death of the 26 Zambians, majority of whom children, that drowned on Lake Kariba on their way for Jubilee celebrations in Gwembe District of Southern Province.
As we mourn this tragic loss, we call upon authorities to establish how such a tragedy accident could have happened so that there would be no recurrence in future.
To lose such a big number of people, who are in their prime and with so much to give to the country, is a big tragedy. These young people had families, friends and certainly hopes and dreams of a better life. They were alive one second and died the next. They did not expect to go so soon and in the manner they did. They were like you and me, full of hope and better prospects for the future. They were Zambians, they were our brothers and sisters, our children, they were the future of this country.
As we mourn these young men and women, let us remember to pray for their souls, as well as pray for their families and friends that they left behind. May God give their loved ones strength and peace that surpasses human understanding so that they may deal with their loss and sorrow. Remember that people that depart from this earth never truly leave, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. It is also true that when we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. So may you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now, to watch over all of us.
However, let us also begin to question the morality of our governance systems that subject our citizens to such modes of transport so many years after independence. Let us begin to aspire for better services that will guarantee the safety and lives of our people. Let us not let our brothers and sisters die in vain, but let us use this painful experience to improve the water transport sector that put the lives of many more Zambians in similar dangers everyday.
We call upon government authorities to fully engage communities around the country that use water transport and sensitize them on safe methods of crossing water bodies, such as the need for life saving jackets and skills as well as on the need to rule on the numbers a boat can carry safely.
On behalf of the UPND, we join the rest of the country in mourning these gallant heroes who were on their way to commemorate a historic day in the history of our country.
We call on the entire country and the great spirit of the almighty God to be with the bereaved families in this time of pain and sorrow.
We are with those families in prayers and the UPND will do our best to comfort them in this period of anguish and sorrow.