05 September 2008

"To those who attended my funeral, I say thank you"

-Dr Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia, in the public part of his will.

It's been an eventful week in Zambia. President Mwanawasa was buried in Lusaka following a nationwide tour after his death. Part of his will, a message to the nation, was made public yesterday. He explains that he has made enemies due to his strong stance against corruption and misuse of public funds.

It's the first time that Zambia is losing a head of state, the previous two Presidents are still alive and well, and I wish them a long healthy life. The Zambian armed forces handled the funeral arrangements professionally. Leaders of surrounding countries came, it was nice to see Mbeki (South Africa), Mugabe and Tsvangirai (Zimbabwe), Ravonamalala (Madagascar), Kagame (Rwanda), Kabila (DR Congo), Khame (Botswana), among others.

According to the constitution, Presidential elections have to take place within 90 days of the death of the sitting President. The candidates who are running for the Presidency are supposed to be announced today but haven't heard anything yet. Hope whoever comes in makes it easier to do business, and liberalises the telecom sector. Lower petrol prices would be nice too (it's about 3 USD / L right now aka >10 USD / gallon). A boost in science funding would be great so that the national labs can do some research without looking for resources from other countries.

The people have taken the news maturely and there has been no violence so far. It's business as usual. Celebrations are not really taking place, and they are quite toned down as a mark of respect. The official mourning period ends on Monday.


lova said...

Oddest title you have had to date, Mosi.

It's interesting to see who attended the funerals.

What gives for those who did not show up ?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ranjit,

I was in Lusaka for many days, infact we landed there the day the president died and just returned on the 6th.

Its a nice country and contrary to what ppl think of "africa". My first trip to africa infact, i am quite pleased to meet the ppl there. they are very decent and mannered.

anyways, r u in Lusaka?, I formed a company there and planning onsetting up a Ferro Manganese plant in Kabwe and also acquiring some mines in Mkushi area.

i remember when u first met and said u r from Zambia, i thought where is this, the world is round huh?!

oh yeah, even tried Mosi Lager, I thought u were kidding in ur earlier post.

will be coming back to lusaka soon.


Mosilager said...

Hi Lova, I didn't cover everyone who turned up. I think the main people were there. Other countries sent ministers or ambassadors.

Sumit - hey thanks for the post. I am in Lusaka. drop me a line - mosilagerATgmailDOTcom when you come next... it'll be good to get together and remenisce about old days over some Mosi. It really is a small world, man. Zed economy is coming up at about 5% a year so it's a great place for investment.

shilpa said...

Hmm....I agree with Lova..that is an odd title..It is heartening that everyone took it maturely..and stayed calm.See violence is not necessarily a way of life?

Mosilager said...

It's great that we didn't have any violence. Hopefully elections will be full of peace too.