Shalawambe - samora machel - Bing: Shalawambe - Samora


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I think he is being sponsored by HH to lobbying for votes. Soon they will release a political song in favour of this blood millionaire.

CHIMWEMWE MWALE , Lusaka
THIRTY years ago today, the Mozambican presidential aircraft, a Tupolev TU 134A-3, was returning to that country from Zambia after the Lusaka Summit to be in time for the then Mozambican First Lady Graça Machel’s birthday.
President Samora Machel and 24 others were on board when the aircraft crashed in the mountainous terrain near Mbuzini, killing the President and part of his entourage.
The crash site is in a little triangle where the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique meet the South African border in the Lebombo Mountains.
Among the dead was then Zambia’s Ambassador to Mozambique Cox Sikumba, who had accompanied President Machel to the Lusaka Summit.
Back in the coastal city of Maputo, it seemed like a usual sweltering day for the Sikumbas, who were going about their usual business of house chores among others after a night of partying in honour of Ambassador Sikumba’s second-born daughter Muchimba.
The then 23-year-old Muchimba had just graduated from university in Lesotho with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with a major in Management.
Muchimba, who was later supposed to pursue her Master’s degree in November 1986 in the United Kingdom, was on that fateful day battling a hangover after a night of ‘hard drinks’ and reflects on the tragedy and a steady rise from an emotional crash.
News of her father’s tragic death together with the Mozambican ‘number one citizen’ initially filtered through in an unusual manner from their house chef who was heard screaming that “the plane has disappeared!”
“We woke up as usual on a hot steamy day and I was the only one at home with mum. My mum (Naomi) was busy in the midst of changing interior home decorations. I was rather feeling lethargic that morning and I kept wanting to wear black and I remember asking myself, ‘who am I mourning in this black’?
“We then heard a loud scream from our cook who shouted, saying the plane has disappeared! We rushed downstairs to check on him and we found him in tears, and on radio it was all solemn music playing,” narrated Muchimba in Maputo recently.
She said it was difficult to accept the news that continued to repeatedly hit her or later to accept it.
Muchimba did not know how to accept and take the news as she kept on hoping that the lost plane would find its flying course with her father aboard and alive.
“I went to my bedroom and flopped on my bed and I just couldn’t immediately switch because I was trying to figure out how to take it. It was the first funeral I ever experienced. Although I could hear about funerals, I had never attended them…I was just in this diplomatic comfy shield,” she said.
At the time, Muchimba had paced to the kitchen, where the cook was ‘drenched’ in sorrow and shock, and kept saying, “It has never happened that a plane disappears, this plane should have returned last night.”
Muchimba also remembers how she sneaked out into the neighbourhood streets in her quest to find out the truth about what had happened.
All she found was an inevitable somber atmosphere as a dark cloud hung over Mozambique, which had lost its first President and other eminent personalities on his entourage from their tour of duty.
“Every Mozambican was walking with a radio glued to their ears trying to follow the events and what was to happen next. I went back home and went into my father’s bedroom, where I started tuning into different channels on his radio.
“At 11:00 hours, I tuned to Springbok Radio, where it was announced that President Machel and his entourage had perished in a plane crash. They then read out the names of others who had died and Cox Sikumba was one of them! This is when it dawned on me that he had died!” she narrated as she struggled to choke tear drops from the corner of her eyes.
The unexpected had happened and the Zambian government later made arrangements to pick up the entire family from Mozambique to Livingstone, where Ambassador Sikumba was buried in his birth village on October 24, 1986. All independence celebrations were cancelled.
This was, however, a critical turning point for Muchimba and the rest of the family as she was at a crossroads after being given a choice to go back to Mozambique and get a job or stay back with her mother in Zambia.
The then Mozambican Minister of International Co-operation and former President Joachim Chisano offered her the opportunity on behalf of government in the Ministry of International Co-operation as an assistant and logistics officer.
“In January 1987, I decided to stay and work in Mozambique to support my young sisters who were still at university in Swaziland. Dad’s death was a crisis for the family but we pulled through,” Muchimba recounted.
Muchimba, 53, is thankful to the Mozambican government for taking her in at a time of greatest need and described the country as a community where one does not feel like a foreigner.
She, however, lives like a Zambian and endeavours to put the country on the world map.
Muchimba is married to a Belgian, Steve Dils, and they have three children named Olivier, Yuma and Chipo.
She now considers herself as an international gender specialist. Muchimba, who has worked for the United Nations system, shares her passion for rural and gender development.
She was also instrumental in the peace transition process and post-war reconstruction of Mozambique.
She also worked ‘hand in glove’ with Mrs Machel, whom she considers as her mother, to help develop communities after the floods in 2000.
And Muchimba remembers her father, who grew up as an orphan early in his life, as a patriot and kind person who served the country with dedication.
The death of Samora Machel remains close to Zambia’s heart as Mozambique because the Mozambican President’s last point of departure on the ill-fated Tupolev was Mbala at the Zambia Air Force base airport, which has since been named in his honour.
Little wonder why the then vibrant Shalawambe Band composed a number in his honour and memory titled ‘Samora Machel Ayaa’.
As for the presidential Tupolev aircraft, mystery still surrounds what may have led to its crash with one team of air crash investigators into the fatal incident concluding that a decoy beacon had caused the plane to stray off-balance before it tragically crashed into the mountains near Mbuzini.
There were also widespread suspicions that the apartheid government was responsible for the death of Mr Machel, an opponent of South Africa’s white rulers.
The South African government at the time blamed the disaster on the plane’s Soviet crew, saying it ignored safety procedures.


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