Gabon Memorial On Today

ZAMBIA today commemorates the 21st anniversary of the 1993 Gabon Air disaster victims in what would be a low key ceremony at the Independence Stadium burial site.

A Zambia Air Force (ZAF) plane carrying the 30 passengers that included 18 national team players, officials and five crew members to Senegal for a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal perished off the coast of Libreville, Gabon killing all on board.

Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZASPOFA) chairperson, Peter Makembo will lead fans in a procession from Chaisa Compound to the burial site where prayers and laying of wreaths will be done.

Family spokesperson Martin Mutale said no special activities have been lined up except for the laying of wreaths by family members of the victims.

“The commemorations will involve only family members but ZASPOFA will be part of us and Pastor Makembo will conduct a service at the site,” Mutale, who is also the young brother to the late striker Kelvin, said.

Makembo called on soccer fans to turn up in numbers and commemorate the day with family members saying there was need to always remember the fallen heroes for their contribution to Zambian football.

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and Government last year announced that the official commemorations would be held every five years.

FAZ communications manager Nkweto Tembwe said in an interview that today’s commemorations will be a low key until in 2018 when the association and other stakeholders will organise an official event.

The players who died were Eston Mulenga, Richard Mwanza, Derby Makinka, Timothy Mwitwa, John Soko, Whiteson Changwe, Efford Chabala, Samuel Chomba, Kelvin Mutale, Godfrey Kangwa, Moses Masuwa, Patrick Banda, Numba Mwila, Winter Mumba, Kenani Simambe, Robert Watyakeni and Moses Chikwalakwala.

Officials included FAZ president Michael Mwape and committee member Wilson Sakala, coach Godfrey Chitalu and his assistant Alex Chola, team doctor Wilson Mtonga, Ministry of Sports Deputy permanent secretary Nelson Zimba and Zambia News Agency (ZANA) News Editor Joseph Salim.

The ZAF crew had Colonel Fenton Mhone, Lt. Col. Victor Mubanga, Colonel James Sachika and Warrant Officer Edward Nambote.

Source : The Times of Zambia

Leave a Reply