Mourning President Sata

ZAMBIA is once again in mourning following the death of President Michael Sata who passed on in a London hospital on Tuesday night.

The death of a person, especially a President, in an African community invokes a spirit of togetherness.

It is normally a period in which foes bury their differences and embark on a journey of introspection. 

Zambians have a lot to reflect about over the demise of Mr Sata as this is not the first time they are losing a sitting President.

In 2008, they lost their third President Levy Mwanawasa who died in a Paris hospital.

This means in only six years, Zambians will have been to the national polls three times to elect their Republican President.

The holding of national elections resulting from the death of a President is Constitutional as it is provided for in law books.

Many may not agree with what has transpired in the aftermath of Mr Sata’s death but this is not the time for discussion.

The Constitutional provisions in the current books of law should be followed to the letter so that all Zambians can mourn Mr Sata in peace.

As we observed yesterday, whether or not President Sata made a mistake in appointing Dr. Guy Scott as Vice-President when he does not qualify to stand as President on account of the parentage clause, is a matter that should not divide our country at this critical point in time.

This is past us now.

We say this because any mishandling of the Constitution can bring about unnecessary tension which can affect the smooth transition of power in the next 90 days.

Those who want to mourn the President should be allowed to exercise their freedom to do so in whichever manner.

No one, including indeed, the Patriotic Front should take the death of President Sata as their personal funeral. President Sata ceased to be Patriotic Front president when he was elected as Head of State in 2011.

Mr Sata became President of all Zambians who include the opposition political party members.

Therefore, no one should dictate who should mourn the fifth President of the Republic of Zambia.

The common denominator in the current state we find ourselves in is the ability to renounce our differences and mourn Mr Sata with the dignity the situation deserves.

As we have said, there will be more time to sort out the country’s challenges than to use the mourning for house keeping constitutional matters.

The death of President Michael Sata is indeed a difficult development.