Sata’s body returns to Zambia as political rivals jockey for position

Hundreds of people lined Lusaka’s Great East road on Saturday as the body of Zambian president Michael Sata, who died in London this week, arrived in the country to be burial next week.

Sad home coming: Sata's widow

Sad home coming: Sata’s widow

Body of president Michael Sata back on Zambian soil

Body of president Michael Sata back on Zambian soil

President Michael Sata's body arrives at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka (Jordi Matas)

President Michael Sata’s body arrives at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka (Jordi Matas)

There were emotional scenes with several people breaking down as pall bearers carried Sata’s dark casket draped in the Zambian flag off a chartered plane.

The body was driven to the Mulungushi International Conference Center, where a brief wreath-laying ceremony was held.

Sata, who was nicknamed “King Cobra” because of his sharp tongue, died on Tuesday. He had been president of Zambia since 2011. He is expected to be buried on Nov. 11.

“We have been robbed of a great leader,” Richard Banda, 64, said, struggling to hold back tears.

A presidential election is expected to be held within 90 days from Oct. 28 when Sata died at London’s King Edward VII hospital from an undisclosed illness. He had left Zambia on Oct. 19 for medical treatment, accompanied by his wife and family.

Sata’s varied resume included stints as a policeman, car assembly worker, trade unionist and platform sweeper at London’s Victoria station.

The ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party is yet to pick a candidate, but analysts point at defense minister Edgar Lungu, former PF secretary-general Wynter Kabimba, Finance minister Alexander Chikwaka and Sata’s son Mulenga, the mayor of Lusaka, as possible candidates.

Hundreds of Mulenga Sata’s supporters wore white and orange t-shirts that read, ‘Keep the Sata Legacy, Vote Mulenga Sata for President’ as the younger Sata shook hands with them upon arrival at the airport.

Acting President Guy Scott is interim leader until the election, making him the first white African leader since South Africa’s F.W. de Klerk lost to Nelson Mandela in the 1994 election that ended apartheid.

Scott, 70, is ineligible to run for the presidency in the election because of citizenship restrictions. His parents were not born in Zambia.

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45 thoughts on “Sata’s body returns to Zambia as political rivals jockey for position”

  1. NASIMANGO says:


  2. Chrihil says:

    RIP, Sata!

  3. Alfred banda says:

    Why,why Zambia?may the lord God bless our country sata mical chilufya,go well my dear,u hv done every thing possible while on. Earth,_ u hv. Gone smiling,MYSRIP.

  4. Raphael says:

    We take comfort that we comitted our lives to God and we find solace in. R.I.P

  5. Newx ichocho says:


  6. mayo says:

    i wish all zambians to remain calm as we are to burry our president and may the almighty be with the family members

  7. mayo says:

    no one can be happy when someone dies only bayanga

  8. Ingwina Sya Karonga SC says:

    Maintain peace!

  9. I hope Chikopo will not come back to our country now.

  10. Fare thee well Michael Sata! You lived a full life.

  11. Zondiwe says:

    No. 24
    life is not all about the economy.
    The economy is run by people.

  12. BRYAN CHIGWERE says:

    lest in peace king cobra.

  13. chris john sakala says:

    Rest In Peace our dearly President.

  14. mlakatuli says:

    RIP Mr Sata
    plse Zambia have a peaceful transition

  15. BOBOLONGWE says:

    Yehova anati mudzafa sadanene kuti: tidzafa ang’ono kaya okalamba kaya nsinkhu wanji koma tidzafa. ndiye ena mukunyoza kamba koti ndi anali old one. mudzaziona mukamayenda

  16. MARTAZZIE says:

    RIP MR SATA and condolences to beliefed family and Zambia as a whole.

    My point of opinion to african countries and their constitutions: I think it is better to carry out medical checkups for presidential candidates before they contest and be put on the thrown. These people are of high calibre and respect, every stuation in their life carries huge somes of government money.Now Zambia is expected to conduct elections which will also eat alot of money. Lets think of our african economy, its arleady a paralysed one. Remenber this is my opinion to africa. Once again RIP my SATA.

  17. nkhedu says:

    died with undisclosed illness.shame.magogo inu muzitha choncho ndi ma undisclosed illness anuwo .

  18. Visulo says:

    So what are those idiots doing on the coffin carrier

  19. golden eye says:

    Cancer, a silent killer more than AIDS but is thought to be an elderly disease to take you out of the earth without fear or favour. Eat well but die with cancer ……. no cure only prevention….ashiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  20. akimu jimu says:

    very sorry to all zambians 4 the lost of there beloved president . very sorry indeed.

  21. Mushota says:

    Mulenga Sata can not ran for president because one of his parents, the mother, was not Zambian. She was Malawian.

  22. superboy says:

    Wakumana mdi bwana bingu
    Bingu : kodi iwe wazatani kuno?
    sata : ndimafuna ndizakuoneni
    i mabwana koma ndibwerelaso
    Bingu : kkkkkk ubwelera kuti?
    sata : ndikapitilize kulamulira
    Bingu : nkhala pasi apa umuone lupia
    Banda, baba kamuzu ndi,
    Mandera, kwako kwatha basi
    Sata : bwanji ndikatenge kaye
    Chuma changa?
    bingu : kkkkkkkk

  23. elijah harawa says:

    am very sorry 4 loosing adevelopmental economically person like bg man sata wy gone so soon please ! look the whole african are crying because ov the important thing that u was doing on this earth we will always remember u our hero ,may our soul rest in internal peace amen

  24. Mariana says:

    Sorry Zambians. May HSRIP

  25. Chemjambe says:

    Most of the african leaders always die in foreign hospitals. What does this signifies to us? Let’s invest in our own countries on some of these things e.g Good hospitals and competent health workers etc. Why are we still continuing wasting money to white people after all these years of independent?

  26. M'Malawi weniweni says:

    Very sorry Mrs. Sata, our brothers and sisters in Zambia. May the good Lord be with you during these trying times, dry your tears and comfort you. We are with you in thought and prayer and mourning with you. RIP!

  27. Kanyimbi says:

    Kodi matenda anji osawulula? Ndi chindoko kapena?

  28. Mulomwe says:

    May the soul of this great son of Zambia rest in peace! One Zambia one nation.Peter Mutharika get ready.It always starts in Zambia.

  29. Issa Kabudula says:

    The Zambia laws must be revisited, a full pregnant woman travelling to USA/Malawi and have a birth there, he/she (the child) is the citizen of that country by birth. As far as the laws are concerned the white man who is an acting president – must take over the vacancy of a president till the general elections, hands off the white man he is our African brother.

  30. mpanyangu says:

    May king Cobras’ soul rest in eternal perfect peace he was one of the greatest fighters and his death is a loss. Ndipo aja anamuthamangitsa kuno aja asapepese kubanja lofedwa.

  31. "NATIVE OF NOWHERE" says:

    God wil surprise Zambia who wil b the next president. Even Mulenga Sata wil b surprised. Zambia is not a monarchy whereby family rules but its a democratic nation, its by the ballot box. My condolences 2 the family and nation.

  32. kwathu says:

    Very sad moment. May his soul rest in peace.

  33. Peter Muthanyula says:

    And what with the armed police? Akuopa mtembo ubedwa? Timaonjezatu nthawi zina anthu akudafe

  34. Chikoko says:

    I condolense to the Sata’sfamily and in tire nation of Zambia as passing in difficuit times REST IN PEACE THE COBRA SATA

  35. Mike Alisala Mwamba Phiri says:

    R I P

  36. moses selemani says:

    R.I.P SATA.

  37. Isaac chagwa mzuzu says:

    May the Good lord comfort you nebors in such painful era when u need the face of God for a great loss of our beloved president of Zambia and need of successor after your good ninty days

  38. Joe Banda says:

    Pepa sata pepa..inenso padasala pang’ono ndidakapitanso ngati Bingu..koma ndaomboka

  39. Quetion says:

    Why he died in a foreign hospital not one of his country? They have no sense of priority areas to invest in nor any shame these magogo who rule Africa. He might have leaved if local doctors had skills and equipment to diagnose his cancer early enough and put him on chemo.

    1. Tengupenya says:

      Moyo ukafika pamalire palibenso angatipulumutse. Mzimu wawo uwuse mu mtendere.

    2. gada says:

      Let the dead lie… Leave them alone

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