JACK ZIMBA, Lusaka
REGINA Chilubaâ€™s journey to her final resting place yesterday included a brief stop-over at Embassy Park, where her husband, former President Frederick Chiluba, who died six years ago, is buried.
Mrs Chiluba, who died on February 26 after a battle with cervical cancer, was later buried at Leopards Hill Memorial Park.
According to a police source, who was part of the funeral cortÃ¨ge, family members disembarked from their vehicles and entered Dr Chilubaâ€™s mausoleum, spending about five minutes before driving to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the memorial service.
And at the service, attended by Dr Chiluba loyalists, friends and former ministers who served in his government, many speakers extolled Mrs Chiluba for her courage, love for people and dedication to God.
Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs Godfridah Sumaili described Mrs Chiluba as â€œan outstanding and courageous woman, and devoted wifeâ€.
Rev Sumaili said Mrs Chiluba will be remembered for her support and commitment to her husband, especially when he faced corruption charges and spent many days appearing at the courts of law.
And in his tribute to his mother, Mando Chifunda said his mother taught him and his sisters loyalty when she stood by her husband when he was facing trial.
Some also talked of Mrs Chilubaâ€™s love for fashion.
And in her final wish, Mrs Chiluba, while undergoing treatment in India, requested that she be taken home â€œin heels and a nice dressâ€.
Others who paid tribute to Mrs Chiluba were Emmanuel Mwamba, who is Zambiaâ€™s high commissioner to South Africa, and who served as Dr Chilubaâ€™s spokesperson, as well as Mr Richard Sakala, a media owner who served as the former Presidentâ€™s press secretary.
Both men talked of the struggles Dr Chiluba went through after leaving office, and how Regina was a pillar for her husband during that time.
The memorial service was attended by many notable figures, including former first ladies Mrs Maureen Mwanawasa and Dr Christine Kaseba, the widows of former Presidents Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata, respectively.
Mrs Chiluba was sent off with military honours, her casket draped in the national flag.
She was 55.
JACK ZIMBA, Lusaka