Zambia's President Rupiah Banda gestures during the Reuters Africa Investment Summit held in Johannesburg March 8, 2011. Banda expects his MMD party to score an easy victory in an election in Africa's biggest copper producer that he says will be coming in a matter of months. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2JLM7

The government says it has declared a seven-day national mourning period for late fourth republican president Rupiah Banda.

Chief Government Spokesperson Chushi Kasanda however says other details for the funeral will be availed to the public in due course.

Speaking to journalists after cabinet ministers visited Mr Banda’s Lilayi residence, Ms Kasanda who is also Information and Media Minister said the public will be informed where the funeral for the late the head of state will be held.

“It is very clear that the will of our President is that we should not hold the funeral from here,” she said

Meanwhile, a number of cabinet ministers, senior government officials and political parties’ representatives visited the late Head of State’s residence in Lilayi this morning.

Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Charles Milupi who led the delegation described Mr Banda as a global icon who united the country.

Mr Milupi said late President Banda sacrificed a lot for Zambia from the time he was a youth adding that he has left an indelible legacy for both Zambia and the rest of the world.

The minister said Mr. Banda will also be remembered for uniting the country when third republican president Levy Mwanawasa died.

“Most recently as Vice President of this nation, when tragedy struck the nation when we lost the third republican president ( late President Levy Mwanawasa) , when matters like that happened the nation didn’t disintegrate but he rose to the occasion and held this nation together,” he said.

Mr Milupi urged the wife to the deceased Thandiwe Banda and the rest of the family to use the positive memories of the late former president as a source of strength during this time of mourning.

Among the notable figures included Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kakubo, Minister of Lands Elijah Muchima, Minister of Agriculture Reuben Phiri, Minister of Lusaka Province Sheal Mulyata, Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda, and Acting Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa.

And, late former Republican President’s younger brother James Banda said Mr Banda embraced different people irrespective of tribe.

Mr. Banda said his older brother inculcated humility within him by constantly reminding him to be humble.

He also announced that former Lusaka Mayor Fisho Mwale will be the official family representative during the period of mourning.

And Mr. Mwale thanked the Ministers for finding time to console the family during the period of grief.


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