PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday led hundreds of mourners who witnessed the burial of former Chifubu Member of Parliament and Ndola Mayor Chibwe Mulenga who died after a long battle with diabetes last Friday.
Mr Sata arrived at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International airport at 08:50 hours accompanied by Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba and his Home Affairs counterpart Edgar Lungu and was driven to the council chamber for a valedictory ceremony befitting the late former Mayor.
Mr Mulenga was PF member of the Central Committee.
In the council chamber, the Mayor's chaplain Passy Walishimba led a the brief ceremony after which the councillors and the President viewed the body of the late Mr Mulenga's last visit to a chamber where he presided as deputy Mayor in 1993 and Mayor the following year.
From the council the President's motorcade brought Ndola to a standstill when his entourage dissected through the city en-route to Chikumbi Catholic Church in Misundu near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Upon arrival at the Martyrs of Uganda Parish, the coffin draped in a red and black Mayor's gown was wheeled to the alter onto a dais that also carried the deceased's framed portrait showing him full of life next to his lifeless remains.
In his homily, parish priest Father Peter Mwila called on the congregants and the mourners to celebrate the life of the late Mr Mulenga whom he described as the pillar of parish that he also helped to found.
President Sata later donated K25 million to the parish after being told that the late Mr Mulenga was in the process of delivering a letter to State House requesting for funds to facilitate the completion of a parish hall behind the church.
"Actually we shouldn't be crying for Chibwe, everyone here should be crying for themselves because death is a destiny and all of us will follow him. Like the priest said, let us love one another showing the same spirit like we have come here without invitation like we get for weddings," the president told the congregants.
After mass, the procession moved to the farm house where the President spent about 20 minutes consoling the widow and other family members before burial within the farm premises.
The burial was attended by Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge, Energy Minister Yamfwa Mukanga, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Susan Kawandami, her Home Affairs counterpart Ngosa Simbyakula and Dorothy Kazongo for Community Development.
Others were Road Development Agency (RDA) board chairperson Willie Nsanda, Zesco board chairperson Father Frank Bwalya, former ministers Ben Kapita, Mathews Mulanda and Kaunda Lembalemba.