Regina Chifunda Chiluba, the widow of second Republican president Frederick J.T Chiluba, has been laid to rest in Lusaka. Regina, 55, was put to rest at Lusaka’s Memorial Park on Saturday March 4, 2017. Zambians from different spheres attended the … Continued
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Regina Chifunda Chiluba, the widow of second Republican president Frederick J.T Chiluba, has been laid to rest in Lusaka.
Regina, 55, was put to rest at Lusaka’s Memorial Park on Saturday March 4, 2017. Zambians from different spheres attended the burial of the late Mrs Chiluba.
Mrs Chiluba succumbed a week ago after a battle with cancer. She is survived by three children.
Former spokesperson for Dr Chiluba, a close ally of the widow, paid tribute to the deceased.
BELOW IS MWAMBA’S WRITE UP
TRIBUTE TO MRS REGINA CHIFUNDA CHILUBA DELIVERED AT THE CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS*
Saturday 4th March 2017
To members of the bereaved family
To the Children from both families,
To Bwalya, Mando, Malama, Makasa and Lombe,
Good morning to you all.
I met Dr. Frederick Chiluba shortly after he left office in 2002.
It didnâ€™t take long before he proposed that I work for his office, Office of the Second President, as Administrator.
His successor, President Levy Mwanawasa SC, had begun a process to rebrand the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and his inherited government, in policies and programs.
He called the MMD the New Deal Government and followed up with an anti-corruption drive that immediately affected his predecessor.
So I met Dr. Chiluba during these circumstances; when he was troubled with legal battles and a determined fight to preserve his presidential legacy.
He was also keen to prove his innocence against a myriad of corruption allegations leveled against him.
So I didnâ€™t meet him during the glorious days of his reign as President between 1991-2001, a reign that comes with splendor, majesty and respect that come to the one occupying the office of President of the Republic of Zambia.
I didnâ€™t meet him when he was Zambiaâ€™s best loved and eloquent leader.
Before he was President, Dr. Chiluba had enjoyed a position as a renowned trade union leader for over 17 years between 1971-1990, when he was President General of the Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU).
So my walk with Dr. Chiluba was a baptism by fire.
Besides my appointment as administrator to his office, he also appointed me as his official spokesperson.
So it is from this background that I stand here to give brief remarks about Dr. Chilubaâ€™s beloved spouse, Mama Regina Chifunda Chiluba.
Mrs. Regina Chiluba
During this period of tribulations and trials, Dr. Chiluba stood strong, spirited and determined.
And Mama Regina Chiluba was a permanent fixture and pillar standing with him during this entire time.
Remember that at this stage, he was deserted by many of his close associates and he cut a lonely figure save for his wife, Mrs. Regina Chiluba and a few family members and associates.
He would usually say to me; â€˜â€™donâ€™t worry, if we have God on our side, we are in the majorityâ€¦.but a good wife and good lawyers does help tooâ€.
Many family members and supporters around him cried when he was first taken to Lusaka Central Police Station.
But he emerged encouraging us and all to be strong.
Many cried when he was asked to remove his shoes, his belt and he was fingerprinted at Woodlands Police Station.
But his message was the same. “Let us stand strong”.
Many cried when they saw him for the first time in the small accused box at the Lusakaâ€™s Chikwa Magistrate Court.
But he remained a great motivation to all of us and continued to encourage us that â€œbane fikapitaâ€.
He portrayed a resilient image of a warrior ready to go through whatever was thrown at him.
But it was in October 2006, shortly after the 2006 General Elections, the day that Mrs. Regina Chiluba was summoned, charged and arrested that I saw Dr. Chiluba appear broken.
It appeared that he could go through all embarrassment but could not however stand the shame of seeing his wife paraded in that fashion.
It was this moment that we saw how deeply Dr. Chiluba loved his wife.
By 2004, Dr. Chiluba was unwell.
I guess the toll of his cases and continuous and sustained negative press was affecting him.
We made repeated requests to evacuate him for specialist treatment to his doctors in the United Kingdom or South Africa. This was turned down, again and again.
But by March 2006, Dr. Chiluba was critically ill.
Hon. Dalton Sokontwe, a Member of Parliament for Chembe at the time, and a former Deputy Minister who was fired for refusing to stop visiting Dr. Chiluba approached me and said that he feared the worst for Dr. Chiluba.
He said his repeated advice to Dr. Chiluba to speak directly to President Mwanawasa had not yielded any fruits. â€œI believe despite all this, President Mwanawasa is a good human beingâ€.
So we sought to identify a person who could help us reach President Mwanawasa- but without the knowledge of Dr. Chiluba.
Hon. Sokontwe proposed that we go to see the Defense Minister, Hon. Kalombo Mwansa.
And Hon. Sokontwe presented the serious medical crisis of Dr. Chiluba.
This went so well that by afternoon, President Levy Mwanawasa and the First Lady Mrs. Maureen Mwanawasa were at Dr. Chilubaâ€™s residence in Kabulonga.
President Mwanawasa was shocked that President Chiluba was that unwell. He ordered for his immediate medical evacuation to South Africa.
Hence started the journey to help or attempt restore the health of Dr. Chiluba.
In all this, Mrs. Regina Chiluba stood resolute as a supportive spouse. She prayed, she encouraged him, besides God, Mrs. Regina Chiluba was the other strong pillar for Dr. Chiluba.
For ten years that Dr. Chiluba was in Court, whether it was raining, whether it was hot, whether it was cold, whether it was windy, Mrs. Regina Chiluba was there with us.
I met the Chilubaâ€™s at the most difficult period of their lives, but it were these difficult circumstances that turned out to be the perfect environment to test my spirit, my courage, the virtue of loyalty.
I was honoured to serve Dr. Chiluba together with all those that stood with them. Madam Barbra, Madam Kapata and others, Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu and others.
But I particularly wish to recognise the humility and commitment of their lawyers especially Robert Simeza and John Sangwa.
But the unsung hero in all this is not Emmanuel Mwamba, but Dr. Justin Kangwa.
Dr. Justin Kangwa who was presidential physician of Dr Frederick Chiluba from State House, stood with him even after State House. He also has been the physician of Mrs. Regina Chiluba and many family members.
God bless Dr. Kangwa
God bless you all.
May the Soul of Mrs. Regina Chifunda Chiluba Rest in Eternal Peace.
â—„ 2 Timothy 4:7 â–º
“You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith.”
Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
Zambiaâ€™s High Commissioner to South Africa,
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source: Zambia Reports