Vice President George Kunda today led thousands of mourners in paying their last respect to the late Special Envoy to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and former Zambian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Siteke Mwale.
|Vice President George Kunda|
Among the mourners that attended the church procession held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka today were First Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, second republican president Dr. Frederick Chiluba, veteran politicians Vernon Mwaanga, renowned but former soccer commentator Dennis Liwewe and former Southern Province Daniel Munkombwe.
Others were, former republican Vice President Enock Kavindele, diplomats accredited to Zambia, and ICGLR Executive Secretary Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, among others.
Speaking during the funeral procession held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross , ICGLR Executive Secretary Ambassador Liberata Mulamula described the late Dr. Mwale as an oasis of peace, mentor, source of inspiration with vast experience and tremendous skills who significantly contributed immensely to the region.
Ambassador Mulamula said the region and the African continent as a whole will greatly miss the leadership skills of Dr. Mwale.
The diplomat from neighbouring Tanzania and First Executive Secretary of the ICGLR said the 11-member States region mourns with the Zambian government and urged the bereaved family to look to God for guidance.
The Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region is based in Bujumbura , Burundi .
Amb. Mulamula, a career diplomat, who also worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tanzania , said the region is saddened to loss a such a Great Son of Africa.
And Zambia National Co-ordinator on Mechanisms on the ICGLR Representative Joseph Chilengi described Dr. Mwale as a peace maker and builder.
Mr. Chilengi further described Dr. Mwale as a seasoned public servant with modest leadership who worked tireless in the interest of not only country but the region as a whole.
He said Dr. Mwale embraced all without discrimination and his qualities should be admired for those of us still living.
Late Dr Mwale’s son, Fisho , described his father a nationalists who fought for the sovereignty of this country.
Mr Mwale , also a former mayor of Lusaka, said his late father was open and willing to work with everyone. He said Dr Mwale’s death was devastating to the family, nation and the region as a whole.
Meanwhile, several mourners described the death of Dr. Mwale as shocking and devastating. Among them was Former Foreign Affairs Minister Mundia Sikatana who told ZANIS that Dr. Mwale as a gallant warrior whose efforts to peace building should be emulated.
Mr. Sikatana said he enjoyed working with Dr. Mwale because he was a hard worker and this is the reason why Government appointed him at international forums like the GLR to represent this country.
Christian Council of Zambia General Secretary CCZ-GS Susan Matale said Dr. Mwale was very passionate about peace.
Reverend Matale said Dr. Mwale was a cheerful person when he worked with him during the peace making process.
“I interacted with Dr. Mwale at some quarters when l worked with him and I discovered that he was cheerful and had a strong passion for peace,” she said.
Dr. Mwale died on September 19 at the University Teaching Hospital after an illness. Ambassador Dr Siteke Mwale, 81, succumbed to cancer in Lusaka in the early hours of Sunday September 19. He had an illustrious career in the civil service spanning nearly 60 years, one of the longest in the history of Zambia .
Dr. Mwale who once served as Zambia ’s Minister of Foreign Affairs was accorded a state funeral the His Excellence President Rupiah Banda.
He was also instrumental in getting Zambia to host the regional centre for democracy and good governance, a major project of the GLR.
He was a strong believer in diplomacy and peace. In his career as a diplomat, he had been part of several peace processes and until his death, he clang to his belief in peace. He wouldn’t have swapped it for anything.
Dr Mwale started his public service career as a senior social welfare officer in Ndola in 1948. He went on to obtain a diploma in Social Sciences in London and Northern Rhodesia from 1954 to 1959.
He graduated at Temple University in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania where he obtained a B.A in Sociology and Economics between 1960 and 1963.
From the same university, he also obtained an LL.D in International Relations, Advocacy and Negotiations.
He also obtained a Masters Degree in Sociology and Social Research from the University of California at Los Angeles between 1963 and 1965.
His sound education background prepared him for the various eminent positions he held in his lifetime, including the prestigious position of Foreign Affairs Minister between 1976 and 1979.
He served as Ambassador to the USA , also accredited to Brazil , Argentina and Peru between 1974 and 1976.
Dr Mwale was Ambassador to Ivory Coast and was simultaneously accredited to The Gambia, Ghana , Guinea , Liberia , Senegal , Sierra Leone and Mauritania between 1970 and 1974.
At the time of his death, Dr Mwale had been running his own consultancy firm, SGM Associates, which he founded in 1991.
He was also a life member of various international and local organizations, including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King Jr. Centre for non-violent social change.
In January this year, Dr. Mwale was appointed an eminent person of the African Peer Review Mechanism. Dr. Mwale was also Vice-President of African Concern – Southern Africa , a charitable non-partisan organization on Prevention of Conflicts, Wars and Political Instabilities.
The late envoy is a recipient of several citations, awards and decorations at home and abroad because of his out-standing achievements of public life.
Dr. Mwale , 81 is survived by a wife Daisy, four children and several grand children.
First republican president Kenneth Kaunda, veteran politician Grey Zulu, Senior Chief Nzamane, former Lusaka Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and his wife, Maria Sung, Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Liberata Mulamula, opposition All Congress Party leader Ken Ngondo, Defense Chiefs were also present at the burial.
Finance Minister Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane who represented government was also among top government leaders present. Other included Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale and Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Fashion Phiri.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni sent his representative, Chief Munuka while scores of patriotic Zambians were at hand to witness Dr. Mwale’s burial at the Leopards Hill Memorial Park Cemetery