Editor's Comment

Let’s receive Sata’s body with honour


TODAY Zambia receives the remains of its former President Michael Sata who died in London on the night of Tuesday, October 28, 2014.
We urge the nation to receive the President’s body with dignity and the respect he deserves.
According to Cabinet Office, Mr Sata’s body is expected to arrive at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 10:00 hours.
As we emphasised yesterday, there is need for total order at the airport and all the other sites where various activities will be taking place as part of the mourning for our former President.
To many, the effect of the announcement of the President’s death is like a distant drone.
It is only when they see the casket carrying his remains and when they see his face during the body viewing at Mulungushi International Conference Centre that they will feel the full impact of the loss.
Some are likely to fail to contain their emotions when they see for themselves that Mr Sata is indeed dead.
But we are confident that the defence and security wings have done their homework and will ensure a peaceful and dignified reception of the remains of the true son of the soil.
There shouldn’t be chaotic scenes that may rob the occasion of the respect it deserves.
President Sata was a man of the people, and the arrival of his remains is bound to trigger high emotions in those who loved him.
government has announced a 14-day period of national mourning for the fallen hero to give the nation an opportunity to give him a befitting funeral.
So far everything has been going on smoothly and that is the way we should continue as we mourn our President.
This is a period we all need to show love and respect for our former leader.
We commend government for establishing several sites where activities related to the President’s funeral will be aired.
Citizens should closely monitor the media for updates on the national mourning and the burial arrangements.
It is important for those living outside Lusaka to heed government’s directive that they should not travel to the capital city for the funeral.
Arrangements have been made for giant screens to be mounted at provincial centres to enable them follow the proceedings at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Mulungushi International Conference Centre and other sites.
There are also a number of activities lined up in the provinces and districts to enable as many citizens as possible to participate in the funeral.
For those living in Lusaka, there is no need to throng the conference centre on Sunday when the body viewing begins.
The body viewing has been spread out, and members of the public will be allowed to pay their last respects to the President from 12:00 hours to 18:00 hours every day.
This is a difficult period when we are required to give government all the support it needs to ensure our former President is given an honourable send-off.
There is need to pay attention to all the announcements coming from Cabinet Office.
This will minimise the chances of confusion.
We urge those who will be allowed  at the airport to receive the President’s body to co-operate with defence and security personnel as they enforce order.
The eyes of the international community will be on Zambia, and how we handle our fallen leader’s funeral will influence the global perception of our country.
Those officers who will be tasked to ensure there is sanity should be firm but polite and fair.
The nation is looking to them to maintain the peace.

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