LONDON, Sept 19, 2022 – ZAMBIA has expressed gratitude to His Majesty King Charles III for inviting President Hakainde Hichilema to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London.
The late Monarch, who died on September 8, 2022 was put to rest today (September 19, 2022) at St. George’s Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle, one of the late Queen’s favourite homes and where her late husband, Prince Philip was laid to rest.
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mulambo Haimbe S.C., who was the President’s special representative, attended activities ahead of the burial, which included the laying in state and signing the book of condolence.
He described the occasion as sombre and at the same time a celebration of a great life in Queen Elizabeth.
Mr Haimbe said President Hichilema would have loved to be personally present but the “vagaries of his office could not allow him hence sending him as his representative.
“We did pass our commiseration to the people of the UK on the passing of a great icon,” he said.
Mr Haimbe said Zambia was comforted to see that the whole world was in London to bid farewell to an iconic leader not just for the UK but the entire world.
“We as Zambia have registered our presence and we signed the book of condolence yesterday (Sunday, September 18, 2022) at Lancaster House and we were able to pay our last respects when we were given the opportunity to do so,” he said.
Mr Haimbe said King Charles III’s invitation to President Hichilema forges stronger relations between Zambia and the United Kingdom.
“I am sure the bilateral relations under the stewardship of His Majesty the King will continue to grow from strength to strength,” said Mr Haimbe, who was accompanied by Mr Donald Pelekamoyo, the Chargé d Affaires at the Zambian High Commission in London.
While here, Mr Haimbe had occasion to interact with a number of world leaders.
He also engaged British Minister of Justice Brandon Lewis.
The Minister also passed President Hichilema’s greetings to African Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Kenya’s William Ruto, Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan, and Namibia’s Hage Geingob.
First Secretary – Press