20 April 2004

Zambia: Thank You, Says Levy

PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has thanked all those who supported his family during the illness, death and funeral of his mother Mirriam Mokola.

The President paid special thanks to his Malawian counterpart Bakili Muluzi as well as first and second Zambian presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Frederick Chiluba, respectively, for standing by his side and mourning Ms Mokola with him.

In a statement issued yesterday by his chief analyst for Press and public relations David Kombe, Mr Mwanawasa said messages of sympathy and condolences were many and asked the nation to kindly accept the deep thanks.

In a letter to Dr Muluzi, the President thanked the Malawian leader's timely message of love and unity and not hatred.

"I will continue to cherish our personal relationship which you clearly demonstrated by abandoning your busy schedule and during an election period to personally come and console me," the letter reads in part.

Mr Mwanawasa says in another letter to Dr Kaunda that he was very happy with the message of love and unity and his consoling role played in South Africa and accompaniment of the body to Zambia.

"More than at any other time in the history of our young country, our country needs love and unity," the President said.

He called for the resurrection and reinstatement of the motto "One Zambia, One Nation" which Dr Kaunda coined in national consciousness.

Mr Mwanawasa warmly thanked Dr Chiluba and his wife, Regina, for the former president's kind and spiritual words in his speech delivered at the funeral house.

"Your presence at Mama Mokola's burial underscored what binds us together as a people," said Mr Mwanawasa who referred to Dr Chiluba as "Mr President".

He said the family was stunned by the loss and appreciated the prayers and strengthening messages of sympathy which they had received from so many people.

"We accept, moreover, that the Lord gives and takes entirely as he wishes," he said.

The President had continued receiving messages of condolences from Governments, high commissioners and ambassadors accredited to Zambia, civil society, church organisations, companies and individuals.

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