FORMER president Edgar Lungu was yesterday among the various PF officials who went to pay their respects to late former finance minister Alexander Chikwanda at the funeral house in State Lodge area.

Lungu, who arrived at the funeral house early afternoon, was accompanied by his wife Esther acting PF president Given Lubinda, leader of the opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile, Shiwang’andu PF member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba among other PF officials.

Also present at the funeral house was Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane.

The former head of state was later seen entering the funeral house where he took time to comfort Chikwanda’s widow and pray for her.

Former first lady Esther asked God to comfort Chikwanda’s family.

“May his soul rest in peace, we pray that our mum should be taken good care [of] by God himself. We know we have no power over God’s creation but it is still up to him to take care of us. He is a gracious God, He is a Father who comforts those that are crying, He is the Father who will take care of the orphans and therefore we look to him to take care of our mother. They were like twins, they loved each other so much,” said Esther.

“They both had that heart to give, they worked for the people of Zambia and they worked diligently, and they used to make sure people enjoyed their lives. We have no words to express our sorrow. We shall miss our dad, we shall really miss our dad. May his soul rest in peace.”

And speaking to journalists, former PF national chairperson Samuel Mukupa described Chikwanda as an iconic figure, saying history could not be complete without the likes of him.

“We are dealing with a fountain of wisdom and a lot of experience since independence struggle to date, and it will be difficult to replace. Yes, it is a loss and a very painful one. We only hope God will find it fit that the upcoming leadership leaves a legacy that Alexander has left. Maybe at this juncture it would be necessary to say that let the gallant fighter’s soul rest in eternal peace, he deserves it. He worked so much for this country in various capacities,” said Mukupa.

“History cannot be complete without the likes of Alexander. Like VJ had put it, these are iconic figures. In the absence of super Ken, we began to see super Ken in a number of these people. It is a generation we are losing. We have a lot of hope that this transfer of knowledge, experience from the older generation to those that are in the middle and your younger generation will be smooth and fully accomplished.”

And PF member Emmanuel Mwamba said the former finance minister was a true patriot and nationalist who wanted a united Zambia.

“He was a true patriot, nationalist at heart, a man that wanted a united Zambia, a Zambia that was united not in slogan, not in name but in practice. This loss is tragic for young people because we recently lost the first president, His Excellency Dr Kenneth David Kaunda and again president Rupiah Banda, and now we have lost honourable Alexander Chikwanda. So you have a generation that we are losing at a very fast pace. It is important that we actually document their history whilst they are still alive so that we could learn lessons from how they managed to develop this country, unite this country,” said Mwamba.

Chikwanda died on May 3, 2022 after an illness.