Zambian opposition leader remembers Nelson Mandela

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has joined the international community in honouring Nelson Mandela as an exceptional leader who left behind a legacy that no one can fill but one that everyone can and should admire.

“You leave behind principles and rules by which you lived your life, that everyone should strive to live by. It is moments like these that people must strive to ask themselves, 'How do I want to be remembered? What do I want people to say after I am no more',” Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) said Friday in a statement.

“When Mandela was arrested, I was two years old. When he was released from jail, I was working. Meaning I spent all my life hearing about Nelson Mandela. I am privileged to have lived in the Mandela era, because all I know and do in politics is inspired by this selfless man. My personal reflections about this man can be summed up in a few words; selfless and honest,” the UPND leader stated.

Hichilema recalled Mandela’s speech during the Rivonia trail in which Mandela ended by saying he had dedicated his life to fighting for the liberation of black people. This dedication was summarised by saying “It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

He said Zambians should have this kind of resolve in their lives collectively as a nation, and individually, to die for what they believe in.

“This is a major lesson one learns from Madiba’s life. Madiba shall forever remain on my list of extraordinary people to have ever graced this earth. When everyone expected him to revenge, he chose to forgive, when everyone expected him to kill, he chose to preserve life, when everyone else expected him to punch, he embraced. One thing that still strikes me is this statement. After a sustained criticism by the opposition, he had this to say “I run a country and they run political parties, meaning I have a larger responsibility than my critics.”

Hichilema who sympathised with the people of South Africa on the passing of Mandela said “my condolences are more so to the people that called this great son of Africa, father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and more importantly husband. Your loss cannot be over emphasised. I hope you will recover from this loss, most united as a family in celebrating this world icon.”
-0- PANA MM/VAO 6Dec2013

06 december 2013 11:21:58

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