President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga mourn death of Zambian President Michael Sata

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga Wednesday led Kenyans in mourning the death of Zambia President Michael Chilufya Sata.

Uhuru and Raila said they had learnt with great sorrow of the passing away of Sata, 77, who died at a London hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.

"On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya and on my own behalf, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late President Sata and to the people of the Republic of Zambia," President Uhuru said.

The President said Kenyans share the pain of this loss; "We mourn – with our Zambian brothers and sisters – the passing of another Africa"s great independence era leaders. Our prayers are with the people of Zambia at this moment of national grief."

He continued: “President Sata was an exceptional leader in many ways. He was gifted with unique, admirable abilities and strong values. His perseverance and determination saw him pursue his vision for Zambia. This consistency paid off when he emerged victorious in the elections of 2011, after a long spell as an opposition leader. Indeed his rise from humble beginnings to the top office teaches us an important lesson: a worthy individual can triumph over the most daunting adversities’”

In his death, Raila said, Zambia has lost one of the most significant figures in its history since after a long struggle for the leadership of his country, he took brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of a better and dignified Zambian nation.

"I send my deepest condolences to the family of President Michael Sata, and to the people of Zambia on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to uplifting his citizens and his county. Sata was a brave and daring leader who loved his nation and I believe his nation loved him," Raila added.

The ex-premier wished the people of Zambia peace and stability at this critical moment of transition and pain.