LUSAKA – PRESIDENT Michael Sata’s greatness can be seen from his actions, says Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. And President Mugabe says president Sata was a good brother.
Speaking yesterday on arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport for president Sata’s burial, President Mugabe, who was accompanied by his wife Grace, said Africa and Zambia had lost a man of the people.
“The greatness of a man is seen and felt from his actions and how he interacts with others. Michael (president Sata) was a man of the people… when we come, we must leave our imprint and story of the meaning that we gave to life and to the lives of others, “ he said.
President Mugabe said president Sata was a man of the people who brought about imense development to Zambia.
“He was a man of the people. Nobody can say they did not know Sata; everyone knew Sata across Africa. We used to say this bloody river (Zambezi) was just a geographical barrier, we are the same; we share the same history and people, even our people here supported him, he was a man of the people,” he said.
President Mugabe said president Sata had immense plans for development, which could be seen from what he had achieved so far.
“You did that which was right my brother. You had immense plans for the country: the infrastructure, the roads, the mines… you did so much and had even greater plans; tourism, we even did an act together,” he said.
President Mugabe said president Sata was more than a friend to him.
“He was not just a friend; he had come to be a good brother. Each time we met, he referred to me in Shona and said ‘Sekuru (uncle or grandpa)’ and I would respond similarly,” he said.
President Mugabe said everybody loved president Sata and urged people to judge him by his good deeds and contributions to other people’s lives.
“And so it is with tears in our eyes and deep sorrow in our bosom. Zambia is mourning and we are mourning too. We are singing farewell to our brother,” said President Mugabe.
Meanwhile, Tanzanian Vice-President, Dr Mohammed Bilal, said president Sata was a pillar in SADC.
Vice-President Bilal said president Sata played a crucial role in the smooth facilitation of SADC commercial relationships.
Other dignitaries who arrived yesterday for president Sata’s burial are Swaziland Prime Minister Dr Banarbas Sibusiso Dhlamini and South Africa’s first lady Bongekile Zuma.
Others are African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Madagascar President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, among others.
And Dr Dlamini-Zuma said the African Union has lost a very active participant in its affairs. She said the death of president Sata would not only affect Zambia but Africa as a whole. And President Rajaonarimampianina described president Sata as a very approachable man.
“I met him two or three times at the SADC summit and we made friends instantly and connected like brothers. He was a great man and his legacy spins on because I can see his people are great people,” said President Rajaonarimampianina. PostZambia