THE late secretary to the Cabinet Mr Joshua Kanganja was such a wonderful and willing man who held me by my hand through the minefield of running a country, says former republican president Rupiah Banda.
And Government has described the late Kanganja as a gallant man who served the public service with a rare spirit of commitment, dedication and handwork.
Speaking during his funeral service held at the Anglican Cathedral in Lusaka yesterday, Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula says the death of Dr Kanganja was devastating. Dr. Simbyakula says Dr. Kanganja would be remembered by many both in government and other organizations for his unique leadership qualities that were evident for all to see in his 40 years of service in the public service.
“To illustrate his unbroken commitment and dedication to the public service, Dr Kanganja’s first appointment in government was in 1971. When he started work, he was learner legal practitioner in the establishment division upon his graduation from the University of Zambia school of law in 1970 where he obtained a bachelor of law degree,” Dr Simbyakula said.
He said Dr Kanganja, who was buried in Lusaka yesterday, served as secretary to the Cabinet from 2004 to 2011 when he retired.
Dr Simbyakula said Dr Kanganja was an academician who worked as lecturer in the school of law at UNZA from 1974 to 1986 and rose to the position of dean of the school from 1982 to 1986.
“The loss of Dr Kanganja is not only for his family; we are all devastated by his death,” Dr Simbyakula said. “On behalf of Government and indeed on my own behalf I want to convey my deep-felt and sincere condolences to the family of Dr Joshua Kanganja who died last week on Thursday,” he said.
And speaking to journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Banda described Dr Kanganja as a fair man who served the nation diligently.
“I can assure you that he was a very fair and wonderful man. I do not remember at any time feeling like he did not guide me properly. I felt very comfortable so whenever people say I did something good at all Joshua Kanganja is very much part for my presidency,” he said.
Mr Banda said he had a wonderful three years with him (Kanganja), adding that it was very sad that he had left us.
“When I became president he was already secretary to the Cabinet…becoming president is like walking into a dark room. You have never been a president before; there is no university which teaches you how to run a county and I realised that my touch would be the secretary to the Cabinet,” Mr Banda said.
And Acting Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa said Dr Kanganja spent a greater part of his life – more than 43 years – at the Bar, training and moulding young legal minds.
Justice Mwanamwambwa said even after retiring from the public service, Dr Kanganja continued contributing to the training of lawyers.
“In this regard, he worked as a senior lecturer at the University of Zambia and Zambia Open University, from 2012 until his untimely demise,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu declared yesterday a day of national mourning in honour of Dr Kanganja who died on Thursday last week.
Dr. Kanganja died at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka after an illness and was buried yesterday at Leopard’s Hill Memorial Park. His burial was preceded by a valedictory service at the Supreme Court and church service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.