Zambia mourns President Michael Sata as world’s leaders pay tribute

Zambian President Michael Sata died last week in London, where he was receiving medical treatment. President Sata, 77, was a proponent of worker’s rights and education. Born in the Zambian town of Mpika in 1936, he worked as a police officer and also trained as a pilot in Russia, according to CNN. Upon returning to Zambia, he helped develop housing projects.

Mrs. Banda, AYC Director of Youth Counseling, described the loss of Zambia’s figure head, “It was evident that his death has affected a lot of people. So many people gathered along Great East Road and many turned up just to receive his body because he was a leader with a vision who loved his country and his people. He loved his family as a father and he also loved the children of this nation who he had plans for.”

During Zambia’s fight for independence from Great Britain, President Sata became involved in politics and founded the Patriot Front. A charismatic and outgoing man, he developed a large following and served in city council and parliament on the local level.

After a close loss in the 2008 election, President Sata became president in 2011. He told foreign companies that they must follow the nation’s labor laws and was an advocate for Zambia’s workers, especially those in the mining industry.

Vice President Guy Scott will serve as Zambia’s acting president until elections are held next year. Mr. Scott, who is of Scottish decent, is the first white president in Sub-Saharan African since apartheid.

Mrs. Banda reflected on this headline buzzing appointment, “Truth be told, Guy has been a loyal citizen of Zambia and a close friend to Sata's family. Zambia is a Christian family and we don't segregate, we don't look at color or skin, we are a free country.”

Leaders throughout the world have paid their respects and acknowledged President Sata’s contributions as a world leader.

Throughout the nation, including Kafue, framed photographs of President Sata were prominently in all public places, including the tiniest stores and restaurants.

For more on the passion and work of President Sata, watch this interview with Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States with the Voice of America.