JIMMY CHIBUYE & CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Sata will honour 1,356 individuals, including former President Kaunda, with the first ever special Single Class Golden Jubilee Medal at an Investiture ceremony to mark Zambiaâ€™s 50th Independence anniversary this Friday.
Also listed for the medal are Zambiaâ€™s first cabinet ministers, first chief executive officers, first Chief Justice, former directors general of the Office of the President (special division) and former Inspectors General of Police.
Others are former Speakers of the National Assembly, former Zambia Air Force commanders and former Zambia Army commanders.
This is according to a public notice published by the Office of the Vice-President in Lusaka yesterday.
â€œIt is hereby notified for public information that in exercise of the powers contained in Article 44 (2) (f) of the Constitution, His Excellency President Sata will at the investiture ceremony, to be held on 24th October 2014, confer the 50th independence anniversary, First ever special single class golden jubilee medal,â€ reads part of the notice.
The notice further states that the President will also recognise some traditional leaders and freedom fighters.
The recipients will also include those who have previously received the order of grand companion of freedom, the companion order of freedom or the order of distinguished service and deserving individuals from all provinces.
The President will also decorate the Zambia national soccer team for winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
Among those to be awarded include Senior Chieftainess Nkomeshya Mukamambo II, Senior Chief Ishindi, Chief Macha, Chief Chembe, Senior Chief Mwamba and Chief Kapijimpanga.
Others are former Inspector Generals of Police Ephraim Mateyo, Francis Kabonde and Francis Ndhlovu; former Zambia Army commander Kingsley Chinkuli and former ZAF commander Peter Zuze.
Mr Sata will also honour posthumously last governor of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, Sir Evelyn Hone, liberation heroes such as Arthur Wina and Daniel Munkombwe.
And commenting on the notice, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba said yesterday that it is good to award and honour deserving citizens.
MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu said it is a good initiative to award deserving individuals.
And Vice-President Guy Scott yesterday led scores of people, including Government ministers, diplomats accredited to Zambia and members of opposition political parties to an intercessory prayer service to celebrate Zambiaâ€™s golden jubilee independence anniversary.
Dr Scott said he was happy to see members of the opposition that attended the service, adding that it is a sign that the country is united.
He said the music, which was played at the service brought people together in song and dance and that generally music strengthens society.
And MMD president Nevers Mumba said attainment of 50 years of independence is a time for reconciliation and unity.
Dr Mumba said people should work on remaining united and not to allow political differences to disintegrate the nation.
â€œThe right interpretation of jubilee is that it is time for us to reflect and rest and find a place of reconciliation and change the politics in our country. From politics of acrimony, politics of conflict to politics of forwardness and unity,â€ Dr Mumba said.
And speaking earlier, Catholic priest Brian Chibuluma said attainment of 50 years of independence is a time to rebuild the nation by ensuring peace and harmony through the various institutions of Government such as the judiciary.
Fr Chibuluma commended Government for the development efforts it has embarked on in trying to rebuild the nation as can be seen through road construction projects and other infrastructure countrywide.
He urged Government to be tolerant to divergent views from civil society and opposition political parties and use their criticism to build the nation.
Fr Chubuluma called on the civil society and the opposition to offer genuine checks and balances aimed at building the nation.
â€œGenuine checks and balances are done with love and unity but not defiance and hate,â€ Fr Chibuluma said.
Among those present were Dr Mumba, former President Kenneth Kaunda, United Liberal Party president Sakwiba Sikota, Peopleâ€™s Party president Mike Mulongoti, Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda and Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini.
Others are Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda, Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata, Minister of Local Government and Housing Emmanuel Chenda, Lusaka mayor Mulenga Sata and diplomats accredited to Zambia.
JIMMY CHIBUYE & CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka