State House says former Minister of Health Dr Joseph Kasonde proved that it is possible to be in politics but still be decent towards one another, including those who hold divergent views.

At a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said Dr Kasonde was one of the finest men President Edgar Lungu had ever worked with.

“It is of considerable regret that the President learns of the demise of Dr Kasonde who he said was one of the finest men he has ever worked with, a very dedicated, distinguished gentleman with considerable commitment to duty and commitment to patriotism. On behalf of State House, the President and the First Lady and the government in general, the President sends his condolences and wishes the family of Dr Kasonde God’s grace during the funeral and the tough period ahead of them without this pillar of the family. Dr Kasonde was a fine man, very understanding with an extra ordinary commitment to detail. He was a perfectionist who wanted things done in a perfect manner in the medical circles. He was simply one of Zambia’s finest, one of the very best. In politics too, he remained a decent man of extra ordinary grace in his interactions with people both within the party and those across the aisle in the opposition,” Chanda said.

“He represented the best of politics and that’s an example that the President says one of the things that Dr Kasonde teaches us is that it is possible to be in politics, have different opinions and still remain ingracious and decent to one another. The President sends his heartfelt condolences to Mrs Kasonde and family on the passing of this great son of the soil. The President wishes the berieved family God’s strength during this period of mourning. What remains of us, the President says is an opportunity to learn from his achievements and his great sense of patriotism and his commitment to duty.”

He also noted that Dr Kasonde understood the importance of national unity.

“Dr Kasonde definitely represented that fine generation of men and women who we can proudly say they fully grasped the meaning of nationhood. They fully understood the inescapable duty to promote those values that speak to the broadest interest of the greatest majority of the citizens. In his work both as a doctor and a politician, Dr Kasonde sought to contribute to the emergence of development and sustenance of a Zambia that is committed to one goal and that is development. He used his field to try and advance his vision of a Zambia that is one, united and common in its pursuit for what is good for mankind,” said Chanda.

Dr Kasonde succumbed to cancer of the liver on Friday around 21:30.