Sakeni’s burial Tuesday in his Village

The remains of late Sakeni arriving for a Church Service at the Cathideral of Child Jesus as President Sata and his wife looks on. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

The remains of late Sakeni arriving for a Church Service at the Cathideral of Child Jesus as President Sata and his wife looks on. Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

The late Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni will be buried on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 in his home village of Samfya district, Luapula province.

According to a programme released by Cabinet Office Sunday, after today’s Church Service at the Cathideral of Child Jesus the body on Monday, September 9 shall be airlifted from Lusaka’s City Airport to Mansa where another funeral Church Service will be held at the Catholic Church.

The body shall then lay in state and the following day Tuesday September 10 it will be airlifted from Mansa to Mushinka Village in Chief Mwansakombe’s area for burial.

Sakeni who was also Chief Government Spokesperson and Mansa PF Member of Parliament died at Zambia’s biggest hospital, UTH last week. He leaves behind a wife and thirteen children.

President Sata has declared three days of National mourning starting Sunday.

Meanwhile Times of Zambia reports that the former Minister has been described as a patriot.

Presidentl Sata yesterday led hundreds of mourners in paying glowing tribute to the late Sakeni. The President described the late Mr Sakeni as a faithful and disciplined leader. Mr. Sakeni, 56, died in the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka last Thursday.
President Sata said this when he led hundreds of mourners at a requiem mass for the late Mr Sakeni at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Sata, who was accompanied by First Lady Christian Kaseba, said there was no doubt that the Patriotic Front (PF) and the nation had lost a faithful and disciplined leader in Mr Sakeni.
He said Mr Sakeni rendered gallant and selfless service to the country and was a true national leader who would be greatly missed.
“Though Mr Sakeni is gone, his values will live and shine forever. We pray for God to comfort us, as our hearts are shattered and devastated over the loss of Mr Sakeni,” he said.
He said the PF cherished Mr Sakeni and was currently pondering on how they would survive without him.
On a personal level, Mr Sata said he knew Mr Sakeni as a level-headed, friendly and soft-spoken person.
“As Christians we seek for comfort and understanding that we are human and we cannot fight the will of God. Indeed it’s a painful loss particularly to the family,” he said.
Father Charles Chilinda, in his homily, described Mr Sakeni as a humble, generous and receptive man who always had a reassurance voice.
Fr Chilinda said Mr Sakeni was a peace-loving person who respected everyone regardless of their age.
He said he was in constant touch with the late Mr Sakeni when he was sick in India and at UTH.
Fr Chilinda said Mr Sakeni loved his family and children, and urged the family members to be united even in his absence.
The widow, Lillian said her husband had taught her unconditional love and described him as a charming person who showed her the love that a woman desired.
Mr Sakeni’s son, Vincent, in his tribute on behalf of his siblings, described the deceased as a great father who loved them unconditionally.
He said Mr Sakeni had an open-door policy, united the children and taught them hard work.
Opposition political party leaders who attended the mass offered their condolences to the PF leadership over the loss of Mr sakeni.
People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti described Mr Sakeni as a hardworking gentleman, adding that the country had lost a good person.
National Restoration Party president Elias Chipimo Junior paid tribute to Mr Sakeni and urged politicians to emulate his hard work and kindness.
MMD’s Nevers Mumba praised Mr Sakeni over the services he rendered to the nation both in MMD and in the PF Government.
Conspicuously missing from the mass was United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Others who attended the service were first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda, former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa and another former First Lady, Vera Tembo.
Others were the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini, defence chiefs, Cabinet ministers and their deputies and several Members of Parliament.
Former President Rupiah Banda has sent a message of condolences to President Sata on the death of Mr Sakeni.