Zambia: Befitting Send-Off!

ZAMBIA yesterday witnessed one of the most highly-emotional and touching burial processions as people from all walks of life converged to give some of the Chibombo accident victims a befitting send-off.

In Ndola, President Michael Sata and First Lady Christine Kaseba led the procession to put to rest 22 accident victims as business in the usually bustling Copperbelt headquarters virtually came to a standstill.

Three victims from the same tragedy were laid to rest at Nkana East Cemetery in Kitwe, while in Lusaka a similar procession unfolded at the Leopards Hill Memorial Park.

Zambians cast aside their social and political status and moved in tandem to solemnly send off the deceased of various ages who met their fate on that fateful Thursday morning on the Great North Road in Chibombo.

The unity and friendliness among the mourners demonstrated the inherent peaceful nature of the citizens of this country.

It was and it is painful for bereaved families to witness their loved ones being lowered in graves with the accompanying 'hurting' sound. Some of them were breadwinners.

The pain is felt immediately after the news of death breaks but the grief is more severe when the coffin is lowered in the grave followed by the sound of the thud as the soil is heaped on the remains.

The Holy scriptures are a sure remedy in time of distress because they have a healing impact on the grieving families.

As we have stated in the past, the Bible is one of the richest literatures which offers wisdom and direction in time of sorrow or happiness.

It is therefore important to regularly make reference to the Bible for it gives not only strength and workable ideas, but solutions to challenges that seem insurmountable.

Thus we encourage Christians to read the Gospel in Deuteronomy 31:8, ' the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.'

Another befitting Scripture can be captured in Psalm 27:1 which states that: 'The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid.'

The two readings are important not only in time of sorrow, but also in other instances including in happiness.

We urge the Christian faithful to ensure that the Bible becomes the literature of their daily lives which must be read at regular intervals punctuated by prayer. Faith and wisdom will prevail.

Verily, verily, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Zambia Police Service must enhance patrols on highways.

President Michael Sata yesterday made it clear that the RTSA and other Government wings need to do more as they implement regulations relating to road traffic.

On its part, the Government will embark on two massive projects under the Link Zambia 8000 and the Pave Zambia 2000 in which the road infrastructure will be upgraded in phases.

All parts of the country will be linked, while major roads will be upgraded to dual carriageway not only as a measure to curb road traffic accidents, but also as a development strategy.

The loss of more than 50 people should unite Zambians so that they can come up with more ideas of mitigating road calamities.

This is not the time to apportion blame, but this period should serve as an opportunity to come up with workable ideas on improving national infrastructure.

It is encouraging that the President, senior Government officials, the clergy and some opposition party leaders came together to give a befitting send off to the departed.

It was a befitting send off!

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