Online condolences flood in for Sata
By Tom Jackson, South Africa
Zambians and non-Zambians have flooded social media sites with condolences over the death of the country’s president Michael Sata at the age of 77.
Sata flew to London 11 days ago for what the Zambian authorities described as a “medical checkup abroad” but it was confirmed yesterday he had died.
Tributes flowed in on Twitter and Facebook, with the Zambian Communications agency Media365 tweeting: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and nation on the death of our President #MichaelSata”.
Another user tweeted out a photo of the Zambian flag with the words “our beloved president rest in peace”. Zambia celebrated 50 years since independence just days before Sata’s death.
Natasha Phiri tweeted: “Let us remember to mourn with dignity and respect #RIPMichaelSata.”
On Facebook users also paid their respects. One Zambian wrote: “Am so sorry father, you are gone too soon, you showed us how to live, how to love and now how to die - while being celebrated by your sympathisers and criticised by your critiques you did the right thing anyway and have died fighting, you loved your enemies, you never sent anyone including those that insulted you both as president and as opposition leader to jail! wings that fly us home will sustain you, meet you there””
Another wrote: “It Is really diffifult to come to terms that our beloved comrade and friend His Excellency Michael Chilufya Sata defender of the poor and marginalised in society is no more. His humility could be seen by all. I for one remember him when we were together in solwezi at solwezi FCC radio when he went to campaign for the UPND-PF candidate in the parliamentary by election after the death of Benny Tetamashimba. He bought all the popcorns and fritters from the vendors at Solwezi Fcc radio and gave them to pupils at a nearby school.”
However, some messages chose to focus on the fact Sata has been succeeded by Guy Scott, who has become the first white president in Sub-Saharan Africa since independence.
“Did you imagine that a white man would rule Africans just 50 years after independence? #RIPMichaelSata #Zambia,” said one user.