By Dickson Jere

What a great send off for President Rupiah Banda! He must be wearing his trademark smile and happy in the matter Zambia mourned him. Very dignified – as he wished – and the unity that brought everyone on board.

A very big “Thank You” to President Hakainde Hichilema for making sure that the oldboy was given a benefiting funeral. Logistics and other support was in place and the President took personal interest in making sure that the process was smooth. He made sure no-one was harassed or stopped from mourning and attending the funeral – exactly what RB would have wanted. Thank you President!

Political parties and their choirs took turns in singing in harmony – including the nearly defunct MMD showed up, dressed in RB regalia! What a beautiful sight it was…

Leaders from different backgrounds sat together in church and talked the way RB would have wished for his funeral. While everyone is focused on the politicians, for me, it was seeing Paramount Chief Mpezeni and Paramount Chief Gawa Undi together. I shed a tear. That was what RB had always wanted – to bring these two together – and he did it in death! RB a “reconciliator” even in his death. The two Chiefs even inspected th grave together and later laid wreaths together. That was the highest point of that funeral for me – RB during and after his presidency wanted unity between Ngoni and Chewa speaking people. He was both and once asked to be cut in half if these two groups were not united.

Thank you the defence and security for giving your 4th Commander In-Chief the benefiting funeral. The 21 gun salute and guard of honor was on point! The fly past was done meticulously!

To the family, we salute you for showing unity and morning RB in a dignified manner. Even though sorrowful, we also rejoiced and celebrated his life in style – everyone had a story to tell about RB and how he impacted on them. We had problems at Church yesterday to accommodate everyone as RB children – Blacks, Indians, Greeks, Whites, Jews – all showed up from various parts of the world. They wanted to sit on the family side and nowhere else.
Go well President of all Zambians. Yours was life well lived.
It is well!


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