FAMILY of the late Tutwa Ngulube have announced a last minute postponement of his memorial service that was scheduled to take place in Kabwe tomorrow.
The cancellation comes in the wake of plans by the Edgar Lungu-led PF group to turn the service into a political rally.
Tutwa’s uncle, Sam Forward Ngulube has told Kalemba this evening that the family had resolved to postpone the memorial service indefinitely because works at the graveyard where his nephew was buried had not been completed.
Tutwa, a lawyer and former member of parliament for Kabwe Central on ticket of the PF died last year.
On Wednesday, family representative Joseph Nkhata appealed for peace and urged against politicising Tutwa’s memorial.
“We request that there be no political regalia, meetings, rallies or speeches. We further request that the event may not be politicised as we follow the programme as guided by the church,” Nkhata appealed in a brief written statement.
But earlier today, Given Lubinda who is regarded as party vice-president by his comrades in the Lungu-led group, asked PF cadres to retrieve their party regalia, wear it and turn up in mass for the memorial service.
“I appeal to all members of the party to turn out in their regalia nomatter how old it is. Even if it is just a scarf or a cap, please don them on so to show the whole world that the people who are honoring the memory of Tutwa Ngulube are members of the Patriot Front,” Lubinda said.
The former Kabwata member of parliament said he would attend the service and was sure that his boss, Lungu would also be in attendance to lead the PF cadres.
Lubinda claimed that he was aware that hooligans were being taken to Kabwe to cause confusion and urged his faction to be careful.
“My word to them is, watch out, be careful. You can not push people for too long, you cannot push up people against the wall, watch out,” Lubinda warned.
Given the infighting that has engulfed the former ruling party, police feared that the solemn event may descend into festival of violence, for the which the PF is known for.
Zambia Police Service spokesperson Rae Hamoonga issued a statement this evening saying the service was concerned regarding the potential politicization of the memorial service.
“The primary purpose of a memorial service is to honor and remember the life of the deceased, providing solace and support to their family, friends, and the community at large. Politicizing such an event not only disrespects the memory of the departed but also has the potential to escalate tensions and disrupt the peaceful proceedings,” Hamoonga noted.
Hamoonga urged the PF factions to respect the solemn nature of the memorial service and refrain from using it as a platform for political agendas.
He said the grieving process should be a time for unity and remembrance, rather than an opportunity for political posturing.
“We kindly request the cooperation of all parties involved in this matter to uphold the dignity of the memorial service and allow it to proceed without any political interference” Hamoonga appealed.
By Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba December 8, 2023