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Ex-minister Kapeya dies

FORMER Cabinet minister and chief Government spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya, 73, has died.
Mr Kapeya died yesterday around 11:40 hours at St Johns Medical Centre, in Lusaka, where he was admitted after complaining of not feeling too well on Sunday night.
“He was admitted after he complained of not feeling well. The funeral is being held at his residence off Ring Road in New Kasama,” his son, Mwansa Kapeya Jr, said yesterday.
Mr Kapeya is survived by wife Margaret, six children and 13 grandchildren.
“Government further wishes to inform the public that Cabinet Office is working in collaboration with the family on funeral arrangements,” Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa said in a statement last evening.
“Members of the public are, however, being urged to ensure that COVID-19 and cholera health guidelines are observed during the mourning period to avoid the spread of the diseases.”
Mr Kapeya, who is also the father of Zambia Daily Mail deputy news editor Yande Syampeyo, started as a backbencher after his election as Mpika Central Member of Parliament in 2006 under Patriotic Front (PF). He was re-elected for a second term in 2011 when PF also went on to win the general election.
He was initially appointed as Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services before making Cabinet as Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and later as Minister of Information, in which capacity he also served as chief Government spokesperson.
In 2016, he was not adopted for the Mpika Central seat but was in 2019 appointed as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Botswana, where he served until 2021.
A journalist and lawyer, he came to prominence as a broadcaster at the then Zambia Broadcasting Services (ZBS), forerunner to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), where he rose through the ranks to become director of programmes.
His work producing popular radio drama Ifyabukaya remains indelible.
“Mr Mwansa Kapeya enrolled me in Ifyabukaya on March 19, 1978 at Kitwe studios of ZBS by then,” former diplomat Derreck Kondowe, popularly known as Dangerous Joburg, said yesterday. “He founded Ifyabukaya in 1968 and took a break in 1972. In 1974 it was re-started and since that time, it has continued being the second oldest programme to news.
“In Kitwe, he enrolled a lot of renowned radio artists, late Joseph Kabwe, Joan Musonda, Christine Kabanshi, late Christine Silungwe, late Mr Mwanza, late Moses Chilangwa, Davies Ponde and Mr Chinene Henry Nyembele.
“He offered me a scholarship to train in Germany in radio drama production at the expense of his peers in the group. For that, I will forever cherish his love. He wrote and produced more than a 1,000 scripts for Ifyabukaya and the best amongst all was ‘Afwila Icanyangolo’, written by Professor Kabwe Kasoma. He retired from acting and producing Ifyabukaya in 1994.”