The Commonwealth has expressed grief over the death of Zambia’s president, Dr. Levy Mwanawasa, which occurred in Paris on August 19, calling it a “grievous loss” to Africa, the Commonwealth and the international community.
In a statement issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma expressed his “great sadness” at the death of the Zambian president whom he described as an “illustrious son of Africa” who was committed to the Commonwealth goals.
“Dr. Mwanawasa had great vision for the peace, progress and prosperity of the continent and devoted his life to the attainment of these goals,” Sharma said.
“He was deeply devoted in particular to the Commonwealth’s goals of delivering development and prosperity to all, as well as its ideals of democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law,” Sharma explained further.
By the time of his death, Dr. Mwanawasa was also the chairman of the Southern African Development Community. He strove hard to implement those objectives in Zambia and the region, especially in his role as the Chairman of the Southern African Development Community.
“His death is a grievous loss to Africa, the Commonwealth and the international community. The entire Commonwealth family grieves with the people of Zambia at this difficult time,” the statement reads in part.
In a letter to Acting President Rupiah Banda, Sharma said: “My sincere condolences to you, to the Government and people of Zambia and to the bereaved family.”
Due to his illness, he missed the August 16 -17 Heads-of-State and government summit in Sandton City, South Africa, during which he was supposed to handover to South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki.
The 59 year old deceased head of state, died in a French Hospital after suffering a stroke during the 11th Africa Union Summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.