Former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, has praised Zambians for demonstrating solidarity during the funeral and burial of late fourth President Rupiah Banda at Embassy Park yesterday.

Mr. Chissano said the great multitudes of Zambians that attended the funeral church service yesterday was symbolising a spirit of solidarity and unity among themselves.

He has since urged the Zambian people to keep solidarity in their hearts in order to realise economic development in the country.

He was speaking before departure at Kenneth Kaunda international Airport this afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Chissano attended the funeral church service of late Mr. Banda, who died on March 11, 2022.

Mr Chisano further urged Zambians to emulate the iconic leader who preached peace.

“The one Zambia one nation motto was repeated at both church service and Embassy Park where a spirit of solidarity and unity was demonstrated. I hope this solidarity will be kept forever in the country,” he said.

He said he was impressed with the spirit of oneness, unity and solidarity, adding that he was honoured to attend the funeral and represent his country, Mozambique.

The former President of Mozambique, who left at exactly 16:00 hours, said Zambia should forever keep the solidarity and peace the country has been enjoying.

He was seen off by staff from the Mozambique embassy in Zambia.

Yesterday the late fourth republican president Rupiah Banda, who died on Friday 11th March 2022,was put to rest at the presidential burial site at the Embassy Park in Lusaka.

A sombre mood characterised the occasion which was led by President Hakainde Hichilema, first lady Mutinta, former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano, various dignitaries, paramount chiefs Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province and Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Chewe people of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Chief Mbelwa of Malawi and other traditional leaders from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique also attended the burial of the late Mr. Banda.

Before the burial commenced, paramount chiefs Mpezeni and Kalonga Gawa Undi were asked to inspect the grave and later members of the clergy led by Council of Churches in Zambia Secretary General Emmanuel Chikoya were made to bless the grave.

The Zambia Army accorded the late former commander-in-chief a 21 gun salute while the Zambia Airforce did a fly-past as the casket was been lowered into the grave.

Canon Thomas, the Dean and Vicar General of the Anglican Diocese, led committal of the grave before the engineers from the defense force closed the grave with a tomb stone which was unveiled by the late president Banda’s grandchildren.

Children of the late president were the first to lay their wreaths followed by President Hichilema and first lady Mutinta, the former first lady and widow of Mr. Banda did not lay a wreath due to her faith.

In a vote of thanks, niece to the late President, Dorika Banda, thanked government and the people of Zambia for the support during the time of sickness and death of the former president.

Ms. Banda said former president Banda died a happy man knowing that the country, which he loved, was always at peace.

In his closing prayer, Bishop of Chipata Diocese, George Lungu, quoted from Romans 8 verse 39 and said nothing can separate people from the love of God.

Others that attended the burial ceremony included Speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Justice, members of the diplomatic corp, current and former Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Members of Parliament among others.


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