Verbatim: what RB said at Teta’s burial

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MRS. TETAMASHIMBA AND MEMBERS OF THE BEREAVED FAMILY;

THE SECOND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, DR. FTJ CHILUBA

HON CABINET MINISTERS AND DEPUTY MINISTERS;

MEMBERS OF THE NEC;

HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT;

YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESSES;

YOUR EXECELLENCIES – AMBASSADORS AND HIGH COMMISSIONERS ACCREDITED TO ZAMBIA;

DISTINGUISHED MOURNERS;

I STAND HERE FULL OF GRIEF AND OVERWHELMED WITH SORROW.  I AM DEEPLY SADDENED AT THE DEATH OF HON. BENNY TETAMASHIMBA. MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES GO TO HIS FAMILY.

HONOURABLE TETAMASHIMBA WAS A MAN WHOM MANY PEOPLE HAD DIFFICULTIES IN UNDERSTANDING. MANY PEOPLE CONSIDERED HIM CONTROVERSIAL, OTHERS FOUND HIM DIFFICULT TO PREDICT. SOME CONSIDERED HIM OUTSPOKEN.

I AND OTHERS HOWEVER, HAD COME TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE THIS MAN. AS YOU ALL KNOW HE WAS ONE OF MY CLOSEST MINISTERS AND PARTY COLLEAGUE.

AS I STAND HERE AND LOOK AT THE FACES OF ALL PRESENT I CAN SEE AND I CAN FEEL THE LOSS THAT WE ARE ALL FEELING. IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT THAT OUR COLLEAGUE WHO WAS SUCH A LARGE PART OF OUR LIVES IS NO LONGER AMONGST US.

IN HIS LIFE HONOURABLE TETAMASHIMBA TOUCHED MANY OF US IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.

TO HIS FAMILY HE WAS A STRONG AND HARDWORKING FAMILY MAN WHO STRIVED TO DO ALL THAT HE COULD TO SECURE THEIR WELL BEING. HE MADE HIMSELF AS AVAILABLE AS HE COULD TO BE WITH THEM DESPITE THE TAXING SCHEDULES THAT HIS PUBLIC LIFE DEMANDED OF HIM. AS ALL OF US IN PUBLIC LIFE KNOW ONLY TOO WELL THIS IS A DIFFICULT BALANCING ACT.

TO HIS CABINET AND OTHER GOVERNMENT COLLEAGUES HE WAS A FEARLESS WARRIOR WHO DID NOT HESITATE TO TAKE ON THE MANY POLITICAL CHALLENGES.

WE WERE ALL WITNESSES TO HIS COURAGE ONCE HE WAS CONVINCED OF A COURSE OF ACTION.   I REMEMBER HON. TETAMASHIMBA AS AN HONEST PERSON: QUICK TO ADMIT WHERE HE WAS WRONG AND FIRM WHERE HE BELIEVED HE WAS RIGHT. HE WAS ALSO A LIKEABLE PERSON.

I FEEL SAD THAT WE HAVE LOST SUCH A MAN. I ADMIRED HIM FOR HIS COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT ON MANY ISSUES WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR. HE WAS SUCH A COURAGEOUS MAN.  HE WAS SUCH A BOLD MAN.   AS MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND HOUSING, HON. TETAMASHIMBA WENT ROUND THE COUNTRY TO ENSURE THAT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WAS ORGANIZED TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF DELIVERING GOOD SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE.

UP UNTIL THE POINT OF HIS DEATH, TETA WAS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR SOLWEZI CENTRAL FROM THE YEAR 2001. TO THE PEOPLE OF HIS CONSTITUENCY HE WAS CLEARLY AN EFFECTIVE MP WHOSE CONTRIBUTIONS IN PARLIAMENT WERE FORMIDABLE.

TO THE PEOPLE OF THE NORTHWESTERN PROVINCE TETA WAS MORE THAN SIMPLY A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT REPRESENTING A CONSTITUENCY. HE CHAMPIONED THE CAUSE OF THE ENTIRE PROVINCE AND IN THE PROCESS HE WAS A STRONG CHAMPION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE WHOLE NATION.

FELLOW MOURNERS;

MANY OF YOU OF COURSE KNOW THAT HON TETAMASHIMBA AND I HAVE BEEN VERY CLOSE POLITICAL COLLEAGUES.

YOU WILL RECALL THAT HE WAS MY CAMPAIGN AGENT IN LAST YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN WHICH WE EMERGED VICTORIOUS, IN NO SMALL PART DUE TO HIS POLITICAL SKILLS AND HARD WORK.

tetaWHEN OUR LATE PRESIDENT DR. LEVY PATRICK MWANAWASA, SC, DIED, HON. TETAMASHIMBA WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE THAT APPROACHED ME TO STAND AS CANDIDATE FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENCY. HE DID SO WITH CONVICTION AND COMMITMENT TO THE CAMPAIGN THAT FOLLOWED.   HE MARKETED MY PRESIDENTIAL BID AGGRESSIVELY AND HIS COMMITMENT WAS RESOLUTE AND UNFLINCHING. ONCE HE HAD COMMITTED HIMSELF HE WAS COMPLETELY RELIABLE AND DEPENDABLE.

HE SACRIFICED A LOT OF HIS TIME EVEN WHEN HIS HEALTH BEGAN TO FAIL HIM. HE HAD COMPLETE FAITH IN MY PRESIDENCY AND HE WAS ALWAYS AVAILABLE.

YES, I CAN SAY THAT THE RELATIONSHIP THAT DEVELOPED BETWEEN ME AND THIS EXTRAORDINARY MAN WE ARE PUTTING TO REST TODAY WAS A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. FOR THIS REASON THE LOSS THAT I FEEL TODAY IS MUCH MORE THAN THE LOSS OF A POLITICAL COLLEAGUE. THIS IS A VERY PERSONAL LOSS TO ME AND MY FAMILY.

HON TETAMASHIMBA HAS FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT: HE HAS FINISHED THE RACE AND HAS BEEN TRUE TO HIS COUNTRY. HIS TIME HAS COME; HIS ASSIGNMENT IS COMPLETE IN LIFE.

TO THE FAMILY OF HONORABLE TETAMASHIMBA, I WANT TO SAY THAT I WILL BE AVAILABLE TO YOU AS TETA WAS TO ME AND I WILL DO MY BEST TO ASSIST IN LIGHTENING YOUR BURDEN AS MY LATE FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE LIGHTENED MY BURDENS.

TO THE PEOPLE OF SOLWEZI CENTRAL I WANT TO SAY THAT YES WE HAVE LOST A GREAT CHAMPION OF YOUR INTERESTS AND CONCERNS.

HIS DEATH IS A CALL TO DUTY FOR YOU, FOR ME AND THE REST OF MY PARTY COLLEAGUES. WE MUST CARRY ON IN SOLWEZI CENTRAL IN THE SPIRIT WITH WHICH HE WORKED AND CONTINUE TO PURSUE THE PROGRAMS THAT HE HAD STARTED. THIS IN MY VIEW IS THE BEST WAY TO HONOUR AND REMEMBER THIS GREAT MAN.

BUT IN THE DEPARTURE OF MOSES, THE GOOD LORD ALWAYS BRINGS IN A JOSHUA TO SOLDIER ON WITH THE GOOD WORKS STARTED”. INSTITUTIONS AND THE COLLECTIVE CAUSES HE HAS LEFT BEHIND ARE THE SAME. WE MOURN OUR BROTHER AND COMPATRIOT WITH PRIDE, COMPASSION AND DIGNITY. WE JOIN IN MOURNING TETA WITH HIS FAMILY AND CONSTITUENCY; WE ARE TOGETHER IN THE LOSS.

REST WITH GOD’S ETERNAL GRACE HON.TETAMASHIMBA.

WE WILL MISS YOU.

THANK YOU

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