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Foreign dignitaries arrive

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe (centre) and his wife Grace being received by Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde (left) at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday.

ALVIN CHIINGA & CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
SEVERAL foreign dignitaries began arriving in Lusaka yesterday ahead of today’s burial of President Sata, with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe describing the late Zambian leader as a “man of the people”.
Mozambique President Amando Guebuza and Madagascar President Henry Rajaonarimampianina also arrived yesterday.
Others in are Malawi Vice-President Saulos Chilima, South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Tanzania Vice-President Muhammed Bilal, Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini and Africa Union (AU) Chairperson Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma.
Further arrivals were of Chinese Minister of Housing, Urban and Rural Development Chen Zhenggao, Angola Speaker of the National Assembly Fernado dos Santos, South Africa’s First Lady Bongekile Zuma, former Nigerian President Yakubu Gowon and Ethiopian Speaker of the National Assembly Abdullah Gemeda.
Mr Mugabe, accompanied by wife Grace, said on arrival that President Sata was a man of the people who will be greatly missed by both Zambians and Zimbabweans.
“No one can take it away from him,” Mr Mugabe said.
“The greatness of a man is seen and felt from his actions and how he relates with others at various levels. President Sata always left a footprint wherever he went because he was action-oriented,” Mr Mugabe said.
“We are also mourning President Sata in my country because he was also our man. We loved President Sata because he did a lot for us and he was a real brother. We referred to each other as Sekuru,” Mr Mugabe said.
Mr Mugabe said it is important for leaders to leave a story on what they did for the people they met in life.
Later, after signing a book of condolences at State House, Mr Mugabe said unlike some leaders who sought high office for financial gains, Mr Sata worked to emancipate people from poverty by enhancing development.
Mr Rajaonarimampianina said he is hopeful that the transition will be smooth and that his country is mourning with Zambians. He said he has been robbed of a friend and brother.
Ms Dhlamini-Zuma said President Sata’s death is a great loss not only to Zambia but the entire African continent.
Dr Bilal upon arrival said that Tanzanians are extremely saddened by the death of the “great Zambian President”.

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