GOVERNMENT has officially cancelled all Youth Day celebrations countrywide, following the death of the fourth Republican president Rupiah Bwezani Banda.

The former president died yesterday, March 11, 2022, at his home in Lusaka.

Speaking at a media briefing, Saturday, chief government spokesperson Chushi Kasanda said all sports activities had also been cancelled.

“As a government, we are really saddened to learn of the demise of the fourth Republican president, Rupiah Bwezani Banda. In this regard, I would like to announce to the nation that we are officially cancelling all events today. As you are aware today, we are supposed to commemorate Youth Day and therefore we have officially cancelled it,” Kasanda said.

“There will be no laying of wreaths, we are not going to have any social gatherings today. We need to take note that we will not have the march past as well and all games, especially football games. As you are aware most of the football games, especially in the rural constituencies, are looking forward to having football matches and that will not be possible today.”

Kasanda said the national flag would also fly at half-mast until the burial.

“As you are aware, this is a great man of the nation that has just passed on. This is a man that was a freedom fighter of this country. Therefore, due to the respect that we hold in high esteem as a government and nation, we are all mourning this gallant soldier. Therefore, we have officially [cancelled] all activities today. I also want to remind our people that we will have the flag at half mast today going forward until the burial. That will be done starting from now. This is the official communication that I am doing right now,” said Kasanda.