IF the grief people have shown towards the late President Michael Sata is genuine, then it shows that he touched many lives, says Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu.
He said however that even though President Sata was being given all sort of accolades in death , he had been heavily criticised by fellow political leaders not only in the opposition but also in State House.
He was speaking during the requiem service for President Sata, who was put to rest at Embassy Park yesterday.
“If the outpouring of grief of ordinary people and not so ordinary, is not the shedding of crocodile tears, then it goes to show that the deceased touched the lives of many people in his political career,” Bishop Mpundu said.
He said President Sata appeared to have had a premonition that he would not live long and had been in a hurry to help the poor and marginalised people.
“So, he was in hurry in his efforts to make a difference in the lives of Zambians particularly the poor, those in faraway places, the marginalised,” he said.
Bishop Mpundu said when Mr Sata went to State House he was the most experienced of all the five Presidents who have ruled Zambia.
The Archbishop challenged young politicians to work hard, establish traceable record of service to God’s people before aspiring to higher heights.
“As for the legacy, we leave that to historians to assess the impact he has made on Zambians and Zambia in general,” he said.
He said politicians should be able to reach out to as many people as possible regardless of their religion, race, tribe, creed among others. Bishop Mpundu said President Sata was able to reach out to the majority of Zambians despite their status in society.
He also said the presidential by-election race had already started. “The presidential by-election race has already begun. In fact, it started with the demise of President Sata,” he said.
Bishop Mpundu called on politicians to unite Zambians and avoid campaigning on tribal or segregationist platforms.
He said Zambians should not vote into political office leaders for the sake of their selfish motives.
“Let the ideas fight for you, and denounce violence in any form. To develop our nation, we need peace and unity first and foremost,” he said.