KK, Hayatou Extol Liwewe

FIRST Republican President Kenneth Kaunda and Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Isaa Hayatou have expressed sorrow at the death of veteran soccer commentator and journalist, Dennis Liwewe.

Liwewe, 78, died on Tuesday at Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital in Lusaka where he was admitted for a liver ailment. Dr Kaunda has described Liwewe as a devoted son of Zambia who had an amazing sense of humility and dignity.

In his letter of condolences to the widow Sylvia, Kaunda, who in 1977 awarded Liwewe with the Order of Distinguished Service for his contributions in the development of soccer in the country, said the late icon was a patriot and a visionary sports commentator who dedicated his life to serving humanity through sport.

Kaunda said Liwewe will be remembered for his untiring effort to promote patriotism, unity, harmony, and understanding in sport. “I wish in this regard to appeal to members of his family and to all Zambians to emulate the lofty ideals and principles which Mr Liwewe so eloquently espoused and practiced. Yes, may his legacy be an inspiration to our succeeding generations,” he said.

Hayatou said in a letter addressed to Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya that Liwewe was a passionate servant of the game.

“Liwewe was a towering figure of African radio live commentaries, a passionate servant of the game whose gigantic standing and contribution to development of radio communication over four decades has served as a reference point and inspiration for many modern day radio broadcasters of Zambian football,” he said.

“Personally, and on behalf of the members of the African football community, I should be grateful if you could extend our deepest condolences to the family of this doyen of commentaries, to his family, friends and loved ones,” he added.

Zambia’s Ambassador to Sweden, Reverend Edith Mutale said the death of Liwewe was a great loss not only to his family but the entire Zambian community.

Mutale credited Liwewe for lifting the national flag higher through his renowned soccer commentaries, which played a very important role in uniting the Zambian people through sport.

She said this in a statement released by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Sweden, George Mubanga.

Football administrator Simataa Simataa said Liwewe played a critical role in the development of soccer in Zambia and that there was need to learn from him and maintain his legacy.

Former national team midfielder Jericho Shinde said in as much as the death of Liwewe was a huge loss to the nation, it was important for the country’s football fraternity to honour him by attaining the benchmarks that he wished Zambia to meet.

Opposition National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo Junior in a statement summarised the late Liwewe’s talents as a mark of the vocal prowess.

“When Zambia was winning, Dennis was glorious, his voice rising above the opponents like distant thunder being carried on the wings of an eagle. When Zambia was losing or missed an opportunity to score, his mournful reply always carried a necessary reprimand for the players as though he was berating his own children,” he said.

Meanwhile, soccer fans have demanded that Liwewe deserves a funeral befitting a national hero and have since asked his family and the Government to consider burying him at the Independence Stadium where Heroes of the 1993 Gabon Air Disaster were put to rest.

Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) chairperson Yotam Mwanza and his Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZASPOFA) counterpart Peter Makembo said in separate interviews that Liwewe deserved to be put to rest among national heroes.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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